Health Guide USA
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Cardiovascular Technologist Training and Certification

There are several ways to become a cardiovascular technologist or technician or vascular technologist. Although some technologists and technicians are trained on the job, the most common path is formal education that leads to an associateís degree. Many employers also require professional certification.

High school students who are interested in cardiovascular and vascular technology should take courses in anatomy, physiology, and mathematics.

Most cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists get an associate's degree by completing a 2-year community college program. However, some 4-year programs that lead to bachelorís degree are available at colleges and universities.

Programs include coursework in either invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular or vascular technology. Most programs also include a clinical component in which students earn credit while working under a more experienced technologist in a hospital, physicianís office, or imaging laboratory.

One-year certificate programs are also available from community colleges. Certificate programs are often helpful to those who have already received education or training in related healthcare jobs.

Some technologists graduate with an associateís or bachelorís degree in radiologic technology or nursing and then are trained on the job. Employers prefer candidates who have a degree or certificate from an accredited institute or hospital program.

Cardiovascular technicians who work as electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians are typically trained on the job by their employer. These programs usually take 4 to 6 weeks to complete. One-year certification programs are also available from community colleges and may substitute for on-the-job training

Although certification is not required to enter the occupation, employers prefer to hire certified technologists or technicians. Certification is considered the standard by professionals and the ultrasound community. Many insurance providers, including Medicare, pay for procedures only if a certified technologist or technician did the work.

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists earn various certifications, depending on their clinical focus. To take the certification exam, technologists and technicians usually must complete an accredited education program. In most cases, technologists and technicians must take continuing education to keep their certification. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists can be certified in several areas

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition




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