What Is a Registered Cardiovascular Technologist?
Are you interested in the circulatory system and the common problems that it can encounter? If so, a career as a registered cardiovascular technologist may be right for you. Read on to find out about the common daily tasks, educational requirements, registration options and salary figures for registered cardiovascular technologists. Schools offering Electroneurodiagnostic Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Registered Cardiovascular Technologist
As a registered cardiovascular technologist, you will work with doctors to identify and cure various disorders of the heart and blood vessels. You will be responsible for operating and maintaining sensitive medical equipment, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine. You will also work closely with cardiovascular patients, preparing them for medical procedures, ensuring their comfort and monitoring their heart rate.
There are several subcategories of cardiovascular technologists, including invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology and vascular technology. Invasive cardiology technologists aid doctors by preparing patients for complex procedures, such as cardiac catheterization and balloon angioplasty, that involve inserting medical apparatuses into the patient's body. Noninvasive cardiology technologists use sonography, echocardiology and other technology that does not need to be inserted into the body to help doctors diagnose heart ailments. Vascular technologists focus on vein and artery disorders, and they use noninvasive technology to obtain data on blood flow, oxygen saturation, peripheral circulation, blood pressure and other vascular information.
You are required to receive at least an associate's degree in cardiovascular technology in order to find entry-level employment. Colleges frequently offer associate's degrees in cardiovascular technology with tracks in invasive or noninvasive technology. The coursework of these associate's degree programs present you with instruction in cardiovascular anatomy, pathophysiology and pharmacology, as well as equipment operation and patient care techniques.
Although it is not required to find employment, many employers will only hire cardiovascular technologists who have been registered. Credentialing agencies like Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) offer registration based on your area of expertise. CCI's designations include the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS), Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS), Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist (RCES) and Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS).
The ARDMS allows you to become a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) or Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) and specialize in adult, pediatric or fetal echocardiology. Most of these designations require you to have completed some formal education, pass an exam from the credentialing agency and partake in continuing education to maintain registration.
Employment and Salary Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 48,720 people employed as cardiovascular technologists and technicians in May 2010 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that their average yearly salary was $50,720. Additionally, PayScale.com reported that cardiovascular technologists in the 10th-90th percentile received hourly wages ranging from $14.44-$36.55. The website also found that cardiovascular technologists with the RCIS designation earned $19.83-$31.94 per hour. Those with the RDCS designation earned $22.40-$39.80 per hour, and those with the RVT designation earned $24.96-$40.30 per hour.
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