Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

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$63,020 Median Wage (2022)
3,900 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
3.70% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • 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.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • 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.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Maintain sterile operative fields.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Monitor video displays of medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Test patient heart or lung functioning.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Enter patient or treatment data into computers.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.