What Is a Cardio Technician?

There are many different specialties in the field of cardiovascular technicians. This article will highlight a few different kinds of cardiovascular technicians and provide more information about pursuing a career in the field. Schools offering Cardiovascular Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Basic Overview

A cardiovascular technician (CVT) helps physicians diagnose and treat heart and blood vessel ailments and diseases. Many cardio technicians choose to specialize as electrocardiograph technicians, cardiology technologists, cardiac sonographers or vascular technicians.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay The median annual pay for individuals in this field in 2014 was $54,330.
Job Outlook Employment of individuals in this field is expected to increase by 39% between 2012 and 2022, which is considered much faster than average. One reason for this job growth is because medical facilities are starting to use imaging technology to replace more involved procedures.
Entry-Level Education Bachelor's or associate's degree
Certification Most employers look for applicants who have been professionally certified. Certification typically involves passing an accredited program and taking a certification exam.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Electrocardiograph Technician

An electrocardiograph (EKG) technician, also called a cardiographic technician, is a CVT who administers EKGs. This includes preparing and positioning a patient for the procedure, operating the EKG machine and printing out results for a physician to interpret. With advanced training, EKG technicians also can perform stress tests and Holter monitoring. Stress tests involve observing a patient's heart rate as he or she walks on a treadmill, while Holter monitoring records heart health over 24 hours or more.

Cardiology Technologist

A cardiology technologist assists physicians with cardiac catheterizations, helping to insert a catheter from a patient's groin to his or her heart. This specialized cardio technician also assists with balloon angioplasty procedures. He or she may function as a phlebotomist, drawing blood and other fluids for tests. A cardiology technologist also monitors EKG and other equipment during surgical procedures.

Cardiac Sonographer

A cardiac sonographer is a cardio technician who uses ultrasound to examine blood vessels and the heart's chambers and valves. A cardiac sonographer, also called an echocardiographer, might administer medicine to patients to evaluate their heart function.

Vascular Technician

A vascular technician uses noninvasive techniques to assist in diagnosing various circulatory disorders. He or she manually checks a patient's pulse and blood pressure and uses ultrasound equipment to observe and record circulation in the brain and abdomen. A vascular technician also monitors a patient's blood flow and oxygen saturation.

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