Career summary

Details for Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians


Description

Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.

Tasks

  • Conduct electrocardiogram (EKG), phonocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record patients' cardiac activity, using specialized electronic test equipment, recording devices, or laboratory instruments.
  • Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
  • Monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
  • Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
  • Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
  • Prepare and position patients for testing.
  • Attach electrodes to the patients' chests, arms, and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
  • Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.
  • Check, test, and maintain cardiology equipment, making minor repairs when necessary, to ensure proper operation.
  • Supervise or train other cardiology technologists or students.
  • Compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to identify abnormalities.
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular information, such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation, or cerebral circulation.
  • Assist surgeons with vascular procedures, such as preparing balloons and stents.
  • Assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac or peripheral vascular treatments, such as implanting pacemakers or assisting with balloon angioplasties to treat blood vessel blockages.
  • Assess cardiac physiology and calculate valve areas from blood flow velocity measurements.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Observe gauges, recorder, and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
  • Inject contrast medium into patients' blood vessels.
  • Transcribe, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
  • Enter factors, such as amount and quality of radiation beam, and filming sequence, into computer.
  • Conduct tests of pulmonary system, using spirometer or other respiratory testing equipment.
  • Activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
  • Set up 24-hour Holter and event monitors, scan and interpret tapes, and report results to physicians.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or ordering supplies or equipment.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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