Cardiovascular Technology

Occupational description
The cardiovascular technologist performs diagnostic examinations and therapeutic interventions of the heart and/or blood vessels at the request or direction of a physician in one or more of the following:
  • Invasive cardiology-Cardiac Catheterization  
  • Noninvasive cardiology-Echocardiography 
  • Noninvasive peripheral vascular study-Vascular Ultrasound
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
Through subjective sampling and/or recording, the technologist creates an easily definable foundation of data from which a correct anatomic and physiologic diagnosis may be established for each patient.

Job description
The cardiovascular technologist is qualified by specific didactic, laboratory, and clinical technological education to perform various cardiovascular/peripheral vascular diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The role of the cardiovascular technologist may include but is not limited to (1) reviewing and/or recording pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data; (2) performing appropriate clinical procedures and obtaining a record of anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician; (3) exercising discretion and judgment in the performance of cardiovascular diagnostic and therapeutic services; and (4) participating in interventional cardiovascular catheterization and/or cardiac electrophysiology procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stent insertion, radiofrequency ablation, and pacemaker and/or implantable defibrillator insertion.

Employment characteristics
Cardiovascular technologists may provide their services to patients in any medical setting under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy (MD or DO). The procedures performed by the cardiovascular technologist may be found in, but are not limited to, one of the following general settings: (1) invasive cardiovascular laboratories, including cardiac catheterization, blood gas, and electrophysiology laboratories; (2) noninvasive cardiovascular laboratories, including echocardiography, exercise stress test, and electrocardiography laboratories; and (3) noninvasive peripheral vascular studies laboratories, including Doppler ultrasound, thermography, and plethysmography laboratories.

Educational programs
Length. Programs may be from 1 to 4 years, depending on student qualifications and number of areas of diagnostic evaluation selected: invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology, or noninvasive peripheral vascular study.

Prerequisites. High school diploma or equivalent or qualifications in a clinically related allied health profession.

Curriculum. Curricula of accredited programs include didactic instruction, formal laboratory experiences, and patient-based clinical instruction. Suggested areas of instruction in the core curriculum include an introduction to the field of cardiovascular technology, general and/or applied sciences, human anatomy and physiology, basic pharmacology, and basic medical electronics and medical instrumentation. Emphasis, following the core curriculum, is given in the specialty area(s) selected: invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology, and noninvasive peripheral vascular study. Both didactic instruction and clinical experiences are provided in these areas.

American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
51 Monroe Street
Plaza East One
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone:301-738-8401 or 800-541-9754

Cardiovascular Credentialing International
1500 Sunday Drive
Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone:919-861-4539 or 800-326-0268
American Society of Echocardiography
2100 Gateway Centre Blvd., Suite 310
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone: 919-861-5574

Society for Vascular Ultrasound
4601 Presidents Drive/Suite 260
Lanham, MD 20706-4831
Phone:301-459-7550 or 800-788-8346
Fax 301-459-5651

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
2745 North Dallas Parkway #350
Plano, TX 75093-8729
Phone:214-473-8057 or 800-229-9506

Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals
1500 Sunday Drive/Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607