Cardiovascular technology is used to help physicians examine and treat problems stemming from irregularities with the heart and vascular system (blood vessels) of the body. Cardiovascular technologists usually specialize in either invasive or noninvasive procedures.
Those who specialize in invasive procedures are often called cardiology technologists. Invasive means that there is the need to utilize instruments such as catheters and to insert them into the body to perform procedures. Non-invasive procedures involve imaging without the need to insert instruments such as an echocardiography.
To become a cardiovascular technologist, you must first obtain formal education in a cardiovascular technology program. The most common route is an associates degree; however, it is not uncommon to also pursue a bachelors degree. Upon completion of a degree, you will need to decide if you want to become a certified cardiovascular tech. While certification is not always mandatory, it is fast becoming a requirement among employers. You can become certified through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). To be eligible for these exams, you must have completed your education through an accredited school.
Many schools now offer Cardiovascular Tech associates, bachelors, and certificate programs. There are several opportunities for advancement in the field and becoming educated on multiple cardiovascular specialties such as EKG, echocardiography, and both invasive and non invasive vascular procedures will provide greater compensation and opportunity.
You can learn more about individual programs by requesting information from schools offering cardiovascular technology programs and getting the facts on program details.