What Do Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Do?
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments. They may specialize in any of three areas of practice: invasive cardiology, echocardiography, and vascular technology.
Cardiovascular technologists who specialize in invasive procedures are called cardiology technologists. They assist physicians with cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is inserted in patients to remove blood vessel obstructions. Those who assist physicians in the diagnosis of disorders affecting circulation are known as vascular technologists or vascular sonographers. Technologists who use ultrasound to examine the heart chambers, valves, and vessels are referred to as cardiac sonographers or echocardiographers.
Cardiac technologists also help prepare patients for cardiac catheterization. During the procedures, they monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate with electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment and notify the physician of any abnormalities with these indicators. Cardiovascular technologists may also prepare and monitor patients during open-heart surgery and during the insertion of pacemakers and stents that open up blockages in arteries to the heart and major blood vessels.
Cardiovascular technicians work closely with cardiac technologists. Those technicians who specialize in EKGs, stress testing, and Holter monitors are known as cardiographic technicians or EKG technicians. Technicians typically receive less training and make less than technologists.
For more information, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm
Where Do Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Work?
The majority of cardiovascular technologist and technician jobs are in hospitals (state, local, and private) and others work in physician’s offices, medical laboratories, diagnostic imaging centers, and outpatient care centers. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians generally work a five-day, 40-hour week that may include weekends. Those in catheterization laboratories tend to work longer hours and may work evenings. They may also be on call during the night and on weekends.
What Do Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Earn?
In 2017, the median annual income for cardiovascular technologists and technicians in New York was $59,130 (entry-level: $39,450, experienced: $71,270), slightly higher than the 2016 national median annual income for cardiovascular technologists and technicians of $55,570.
Supply and Demand
From 2014 to 2024, nationwide employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians is projected to grow by more than 22.2%, and in New York by more than 20.7% during the same period. For more information on projections of cardiovascular technologists/technicians by New York State labor regions, click here.
Growth will occur as the population ages because older people have a higher incidence of heart problems and use more diagnostic imaging. Employment of vascular technologists and echocardiographers will grow as advances in vascular technology and sonography reduce the need for more costly and invasive procedures. However, fewer EKG technicians will be needed, as hospitals train nursing aides and others to perform basic EKG procedures. Individuals trained in Holter monitoring and stress testing are expected to have more favorable job prospects than are those who can perform only a basic EKG.
New York Educational Requirements
The majority of cardiovascular technologists complete at least a two-year college program and earn an associate degree, but four-year programs are increasingly available. The first year is often dedicated to core courses and is followed by a year of specialized instruction in invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular or vascular technology. Those who are qualified in an allied health profession may only need to complete one year of specialized instruction, which may occur on the job. Specific requirements are likely to vary depending on the facility hiring a cardiovascular technologist or technician.
New York Certification/Licensure Requirements
New York does not require cardiovascular technologists and technicians to be licensed. However, many employers prefer professionally certified technicians and technologists.
Education Programs in New York (subject to change)
1000 Hempstead Ave.
Rockville Centre, NY 11571-5002
|Hudson Valley Community College
400 Jordan Rd
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 629-HVCC or 1-877-325-4822
|New Age Training
(for Cardiovascular Technicians)
145 West 30th St. 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Additional Web Links
For more information on cardiovascular technologists and technicians, go to:
Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals: http://www.acp-online.org
Society for Vascular Ultrasound: http://www.svunet.org
Cardiovascular Credentialing International: http://www.cci-online.org