How To Become A Cardiovascular Technologist (With Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cardiovascular technologists are skilled technicians who assist doctors and cardiologists. They operate the tools and machines to diagnose heart-related medical issues in patients. If you are thinking about becoming a cardiovascular technologist, knowing their role, skills and average salary can help you decide better. In this article, we discuss how to become a cardiovascular technologist, share information about their responsibilities, salary, work environment and skills and compare the profession with similar jobs.

What is a cardiovascular technologist?

Cardiovascular technologists, or cardiovascular technicians, are experts in conducting, diagnosing and treating heart-related ailments and vascular problems. They usually assist physicians, doctors and surgeons in diagnosing issues related to the heart and arteries. They also assist during surgeries and other non-invasive procedures. There are several kinds of cardiovascular specialists, like cardiac care technologists, cardiac perfusion technologists, cardiographer, sonographers and ECG technicians.

How to become a cardiovascular technologist

To find out how to become a cardiovascular technologist, follow these steps:

1. Complete your education

Finish your senior secondary (10+2) education with biology, chemistry and physics from a recognised board. Some higher education institutes may require a minimum of 55% marks in 10+2 for admission. This is why it's best to ensure that you maintain high scores through your school.

2. Pursue a bachelor's degree

For the bachelor's, you can pursue BSc in cardiovascular technology or cardiac care. This is typically a three or four-year degree programme that offers specialised education and training in cardiovascular technologies, equipment and surgeries. Several private and government colleges offer this degree programme, and you can get admission based on general or direct entrance exams. You can also complete a one-year diploma programme in cardiovascular technology to enhance your skills further.

3. Get an internship

Internships hold a lot of significance in the medical industry as they help apply theoretical knowledge and enhance practical skills. Consider a reputed hospital or diagnostic centre to complete a short internship. If you want to specialise in certain types of roles, you can ask your internship supervisor to assign you tasks related to the same.

4. Create an impressive resume and cover letter

Once you have the right qualifications and experience, create an impressive resume that showcases your skills, knowledge and qualifications. Also, write a cover letter that summarises your job application and candidacy that can accompany the resume. Make sure you customise the resume and cover letter when applying for jobs.

5. Look for relevant employment opportunities

Start applying for relevant jobs in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and speciality medical institutes. You can look for jobs online or directly reach out to hospitals and medical centres with your resume. Note that the role of a cardiovascular technologist may have different titles in different hospitals, so search and enquire accordingly.

6. Consider pursuing a master's degree

If you want to develop your skills further and specialise in niche fields, consider pursuing a master's degree in cardiovascular technology. These are usually two-year programmes and may have specialisations like cardiac catheterisation, interventional technology, cardiac care technology and sonography. Some medical colleges and institutes also offer shorter post-graduate diploma courses for skill enhancement.

Related: How To Become a Doctor (With 6 Steps You Can Follow)

Responsibilities of a cardiovascular technologist

Here are a few things that a cardiovascular technologist may complete on a typical day:

  • conduct different types of cardiovascular tests and assessments

  • record patient activity and performance using specialised tools and instruments

  • analyse the results, share them with the physician and explain them to the patient

  • help patients understand why certain tests are important and the process of conducting them

  • observe the heart rate and blood pressure during the test to ensure the patient can handle the test

  • alert doctors and physicians when they find any abnormality or serious medical issue in the results

  • provide safe transportation of hospitalised patients to and from the lab

  • assist surgeons and doctors when they perform cardiovascular surgeries

  • educate patients on how to use devices like pacemakers

  • train new medical staff or juniors on how to conduct tests

  • file patient reports and medical history with the administrative department

Related: Nursing Roles And Responsibilities: A Complete Guide

Work environment of cardiovascular technicians

Cardiovascular technologists usually work in hospitals, super-speciality medical centres, diagnostic laboratories, private clinics and other healthcare centres. They typically have fixed working hours and might have to work in shifts, depending on the place of employment. Since they work in a high-pressure environment, the role of a cardiovascular technician may be physically and emotionally challenging. Working with patients with serious heart conditions or counselling their families can also increase emotional stress.

They usually do not have to provide emergency care to patients and are mostly responsible for the management and operation of the laboratory where the tests take place. They might have to ensure adequate stocking of medical supplies, equipment and inventory of products in the laboratory. Similarly, they may file paperwork related to patients, tests, supplies and shifts. Compared to other medical professionals, like doctors or nurses, they have a better chance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance as their duties and shifts are more predictable.

Skill requirement for cardiovascular technologists

Here are some essential skills of cardiovascular technologists:

Physical strength and manual dexterity

In addition to operating various tools and equipment, these technicians may have to transport and assemble devices as well. This can require moving parts and dexterity to work efficiently. Similarly, they require strength to help patients with assistance requirements move during tests and assessments.

Communication skills

To ensure that the tests operate smoothly, communicating with patients, their family members and attendants is critical. Similarly, active listening is essential to understand patients and comfort them while the tests are underway. Communications skills are also crucial because technicians usually prepare reports, write analyses and offer suggestions based on the test results.

Collaboration

Cardiovascular technicians seldom work independently and are usually a part of a team of medical professionals. Interacting with other experts, physicians and medical staff are critical to working effectively in the role. Strong teamwork and collaboration skills can help cardiovascular technicians diagnose patient issues accurately and devise the most effective treatment plan.

Related: Examples Of Teamwork Skills (And How To Improve Them)

Focus and precision

The role of a cardiovascular technologist may require them to perform invasive processes like catheterisation. This method requires working with precision, focus and attention to detail in high-pressure situations with maximum efficiency. Since the job may also require them to follow medical SoPs and protocols, it is vital for them to be aware of the significance of each action and perform it satisfactorily for the most accurate results.

Average salary of cardiovascular technologists

The average salary of cardiovascular technicians is ₹20,063 per month. This figure can vary per your qualifications, experience and the location of the employer. Your specialisation can also influence the salary amount you earn.

Jobs similar to cardiovascular technicians

For comparison, here are some medical jobs that are similar to the role of cardiovascular technicians:

1. ECG technician

National average salary: ₹16,385 per month

Primary duties: ECG or electrocardiogram technicians are important healthcare professionals who perform diagnostic tests to measure the heart rate and rhythm of patients with heart conditions or diseases. They ensure the safety of the patient during the test, record the results of the ECG test and prepare the report for the doctor to interpret. It is important for ECG technicians to stay vigilant and attentive while conducting the test to ensure patient safety and comfort and detect any abnormalities.

2. X-ray technician

National average salary: ₹15,800 per month

Primary duties: X-ray technicians usually work with patients to conduct x-rays of specific body parts. They prepare, adjust and maintain imaging equipment by following the set protocols to ensure patient safety. X-ray technicians typically work with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to help diagnose internal medical issues. They also generally prepare the report and analysis of the x-ray report, discussing the damage, injury or abnormality they observe. They may also have to maintain adequate medical supply stock, counsel patients and file paperwork related to patients.

3. Medical technologist

National average salary: ₹16,468 per month

Primary duties: Medical technologists or clinical laboratory technicians conduct and analyse diagnostic tests on blood, body fluids, tissues and other biological samples. They are usually responsible for operating the diagnostic laboratory and may also have to collect samples from patients. In addition to conducting tests as per the safety protocol, medical technologists also file reports, analyse the outcomes and share the results with the concerned doctor and the patient. They generally work at hospitals, diagnostic centres, specialised medical care centres and other medical institutes offering such services.

4. Clinical nurse

National average salary: ₹14,556 per month

Primary duties: Clinical nurses differ from general nurses as they specialise in one field of medicine. They can be experts in providing paediatrics, emergency, cardiovascular or neurology care to patients. Their duties are similar to that of other nurses as they develop treatment plans, administer medicines, counsel patients, supervise junior staff and maintain patient medical history. They complete all these duties in specific wards or departments. Additionally, they may have an active involvement in managing the department's supplies, staff and budgets.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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