Cardiovascular Technician Degrees and Career Information
Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Cardiac Technician programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 184 schools across the country. You can scroll down to see the school listings.
How to Choose Top Cardiovascular Technologist Schools
There are several things you need to consider when you are choosing a cardiac tech training program. That’s why we compiled these five simple tips you can use to get your search started on the right foot. Before we talk specifically about cardiac training programs, we encourage you to look at all your ultrasound and radiologist options. There are several specializations and career paths related to the field of ultrasound you can choose from.
If you are ready to contact online cardiac tech programs, reach out to the schools below. If you need to learn more before you contact schools, keep reading!
Five Tips for Choosing the Best Cardiac Technologist Training
1.) Certification Preparation
What’s the most important outcome of your training program? Making sure that the curriculum will prepare you to pass the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) certification exam. Although this might not be a part of the cardiovascular technologist education requirements in your state, you can bet employers will want to know you’re knowledgeable and qualified.
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) recognizes programs that meet their standards for professionals in all areas of this growing field. Do a quick check on this before you spend any more time reviewing a cardiac tech program.
What’s great about many Associate programs is the ability to choose from several specializations. These four areas are typically offered at schools with complete programs: cardiology, echocardiography, electrocardiography (EKG), and vascular technology. If you go into echo tech school, for instance, you will focus your time on monitoring patients’ hearts with ultrasound equipment. You might also have the option to choose between invasive and noninvasive cardiac technology.
When you shop around for cadiac tech schools, just be sure the curriculum will result in exactly the kind of career you want. Associate’s programs will include a solid foundation in core subjects, including: Anatomy, pharmacology, and pathophysiology.
3.) Experienced Instructors
When you discuss cardiovascular technologist school programs, ask who your instructors will be. Ask who will be teaching your classes, and how much experience they have in the field. Most schools will only hire professionals with a proven resume. But it never hurts to ask and be sure the lines of communication will always be open between you, your professors, and school advisors.
4.) Clinical Work & Career Advisors
The most important part of your training will come when it’s time to apply your skills in an actual healthcare setting. Whether you opt to train in a hospital, outpatient setting, or other medical facility, your preparation for cardiovascular tech certification will all come together when you perform your clinical requirements. Be sure you are confident in this portion of your training before you enroll.
5.) Financial Aid Options
We couldn’t finish off this list without discussing the 10-ton elephant in the room: Paying for school. It’s a concern that is on most students’ minds when they enroll in a program. When choosing the best cardiac technologist program for you, be sure you have federal and private loan options available.
And why not check for scholarships and grants while you’re at it? You never know what kinds of opportunities are out there, unless you discuss these possibilities with school advisors.
Be sure to apply for our $1000 ultrasound training scholarship before you leave the site today. It’s simple to apply and we are happy to help you pay for school.
A Day in The Life of a Cardiac Technologist
When you work as a cardiac technologist, you play a pivotal role in helping patients and physicians deal with heart and blood vessel issues, such as blockages in arteries. Your diagnostic test can help to prevent death, brain injury, or other deadly outcomes.
Cardiac techs may also help with implanting pacemakers, administering tests, and working with sonography equipment to perform exams of the cardiovascular system. In your daily role, you may work with a variety of healthcare professionals, including: Medical assistants, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, cardiologists, and other physicians.
Aside from the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to work at a professional level, your personality and physical fitness can impact your success in these roles. Cardiac techs need to be on their feet for long periods of time.
Like all sonography, radiology, and many other healthcare jobs, you should also be physically fit enough to work with patients. During some procedures, you may have to help position someone who is heavier than you, which may be difficult, depending on your level of physical fitness.
One of the most important aspects of this role is taking patient information before the exam begins. This requires attention to detail and clear communication with the patient, so you and the physician can fully understand their condition and deliver the best care.
Even though you will be working with doctors and other staff throughout the day, you should be self-motivated and independent when it comes to your daily tasks.
2018 Career Outlook & Salary Information for Cardiac Techs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cardiovascular technologists can expect to earn an average wage of $55,270 per year, according to the most recent data (BLS,2018).
The rate of job growth between 2016 and 2026 is expected to be about 10 percent.
The kind of setting you work in can also affect your salary. For example, the most recent BLS statistics, dating back to May 2017, show that cardio techs who work in outpatient care centers earned the highest average salary of $63,700. On the opposite end, those who work in general medical and surgical hospitals earned $48,920.
Ready to Compare Cardiac Sonographer Programs?
If you want to see a quick video about the daily life of a cardiac tech, check out this YouTube video with an interview of a real professional. Since there are several types of work environments for cardiac techs, speak with schools about the options you have for internships at the end of your training.
Look into all your program choices before you enroll. You might consider echocardiography education, or another type of program related to vascular health.
We work closely with all of these schools with cardiovascular tech programs, so you have the ability to research and compare which school is best for you.
Cardiovascular Technologist Schools and Education
There are a few different options for acquiring the credentials you need to work in cardiac sonography. One option is earning a two-year associate degree. An associate degree in this field can vary by name from school to school. Here are a few of the common program names to look for:
- Associate of Applied Science in diagnostic cardiac sonography
- Associate of Applied Science in echocardiography sonography
- Associate of Science in diagnostic cardiac sonography
- Associate of Science in cardiovascular sonography
- Associate of Science in cardiovascular technology
As the cardiovascular field advances, more institutions are beginning to offer a bachelor’s and master’s degree (Bachelor of Science in radiologic sciences and Master of Science in radiologic sciences).
You can also earn a cardiac imaging certificate through a one-year intensive program. You must have completed at least a two-year associate degree in an applied medical field such as nursing or medical sonography in order to qualify to enter a certificate program. Whichever path you choose, make sure the program that you select has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Make sure your education and work credentials qualify you to sit for the credentialing exam of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). To be eligible, your program must be recognized by the ARDMS and your required year of full-time work experience must be in a medical facility they have certified.
Each of these educational paths can lead to you becoming a licensed cardiac technician. While a license isn’t legally required in all states, it definitely makes it easier to obtain a job and be eligible for promotions. Because competition in this field is intense, licensed technicians will have the edge.
Program Information for a Cardiovascular Tech Degree
Certificate Program in Cardiovascular Technology
The certificate program for a cardiovascular technician teaches you the clinical and technical responsibilities of the field and prepares you for real-life application of the skills you will learn. You’ll be trained to operate technologically advanced imaging machines and, under the direction of a medical professional, how to read the results. Keep in mind that some schools may require that you already be employed in a clinical environment before you are accepted into a certificate program. After completing the certificate program, you can apply to take the national certification test to become a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, which is an even more specialized cardiovascular field.
Associates Degree in Cardiovascular Technology
Other than your main core subject courses (math, English, sociology, etc.), most courses will be specific to the medical field and especially cardio imaging especially. The curriculum is likely to include classes in:
- Ultrasound and echocardiograph basics
- Anatomy and how the human heart works
- Understanding the cardiovascular system
- Diseases of the heart
- Analysis and interpretation of results
- Patient care
- Medical terminology
Most programs are structured around one year of intensive classroom work followed by a second year focusing on the technical aspects of using specific equipment and the practical aspects of the clinical environment.
Bachelor’s Degree in Cardiovascular Technology
The Bachelor of Science in radiology is a general degree, but you can specialize in cardiac imaging. Your first two years’ coursework will be roughly similar to courses needed to earn an associate degree. In your last two years, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of advanced medical imaging, cardiovascular principles and functions, and pathophysiology. Most programs add a management dimension with courses in laboratory management, patient care quality management and information technology.
Master’s Degree in Cardiovascular Technology
Master’s programs in radiologic sciences are designed to create leaders in the field. Look for programs developed with input from professional organizations such as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the American College of Radiology (ACR) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Master’s programs include health administration courses in patient assessment and management. You will study all areas of radiology, including:
You may finish out your education with classes in research methodology and statistics, pharmacology, clinical decision-making and practice management.
Cardiovascular technologist Salary and Career Information
The field of cardiovascular sonography can put you in the center of a fast-changing field. Technology and innovation are moving forward at a rapid pace, providing a deeper understanding of how the human heart works and how to treat heart disease most effectively. Working in cardiac sonography involves using cutting-edge, non-invasive techniques to visualize, test and diagnose heart functions and malfunctions. Examples of cardiac sonography techniques include:
- Doppler ultrasound
- Magnetic resonance imagery
- Computed tomography (CT scans)
Employers typically seek cardiac technicians who are qualified and have experience in the following areas:
- Technicians who are trained to operate specialized equipment.
- Technicians who can perform various diagnostic procedures and tests.
- Technicians who can record and transmit the images and echoes.
- Technicians who can understand and interpret the results.
Most cardiac imaging technicians work in hospital cardiology departments; however, some technicians are finding opportunities with cardiologists in private practice, in laboratories and in specialized diagnostic imaging centers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 the national average salary for a cardiac tech was around $57,100.
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