Cath Lab Training

A career in invasive cardiology involves working very closely with patients, administering important procedures under the guidance of a physician and monitoring patients during cardiovascular procedures. Find out how to get trained to enter this field and the duties you could have. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Much Education Do I Need?

You can complete most programs for cardiovascular technologists through two years of coursework that prepare you for a career in a cath lab. Bachelor's degree programs that span four years do exist, but the majority of programs require you only earn an associate degree. Some programs have extensive admission policies that may include up-to-date vaccinations, CPR certification, letters of recommendation, a clean drug test and viable background check. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) should accredit your program to signify to potential employers that you are well trained to begin your career in a cath lab.

Degree LevelsAssociate and bachelor's
Course TopicsAnatomy and physiology, biology, cath lab procedures
CertificationOptional titles through Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Job DutiesAdminister anesthesia; wash and shave areas of contact, assist in surgery, monitor vitals

What Will I Study?

In an accredited program, you take general education courses as well as those that focus on science and health. Classes may include anatomy and physiology, cardiology and biology; introductory hands-on lessons explore basic cath lab procedures. After your first year in a program, most schools move you to more lab intensive courses where you practice cardiovascular procedures, equipment use and patient safety skills. Most programs allow you to choose a specialty, such as invasive cardiology, and you have to successfully complete clinical training as well.

What Is an Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an invasive cardiovascular technologist helps doctors with catheterization application and other duties before and during cardiovascular surgery. Most invasive cardiovascular technologists are in charge of the preparation of the patient before the surgery, and they may also help a doctor insert a catheter. They should have good communication skills and a sharp attention to detail. The BLS also states that technologists may voluntarily receive credentials from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to become stronger candidates for employment.

What Will I Do?

The preoperative tasks that you're responsible for in a cath lab involve direct patient care. These include positioning patients as well as washing and shaving their area of contact for the catheter insertion. You may also be asked to administer anesthesia. You may be responsible for monitoring vital signs during the procedure, and you need to be trained on all equipment. Equipment may include EKG machines and blood pressure monitors, which may be used in the cath lab. The doctor you work with may assign other duties, including assisting other invasive cardiovascular procedures such as open-heart surgery.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Northern Illinois University

    Northern Illinois University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northern Illinois University:

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Herzing University

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