Cardiac Catheterization Assistants play a vital role during invasive cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment procedures. Their key responsibilities include preparing and positioning patients, managing required equipments, administering local anesthesia, monitoring patients’ vital signs and assisting during insertion of pacemakers or stents via open heart surgery.
In addition, they conduct patients’ physical examinations, maintain patient histories, attend phone call, make daily patient rounds, provide important patient education and lifestyle counseling, write discharge summaries so on and so forth.
Cardiac Catheterization Assistants work in both government and private health care institutions under the direct supervision of a Cardiologist. They are employed in hospitals, doctors’ offices, operating rooms, intensive care units, emergency wards, diagnostic laboratories etc.
To become a Cardiac Catheterization Assistant, the aspiring candidates have to earn at least a two-year associate’s degree in invasive cardiovascular technology from an accredited institution. The course work includes medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, patient care, medical ethics, instrumentation etc.
The students can pursue degree course in invasive cardiovascular technology or higher studies for better job opportunities in this field.
Licensure and Certification
Since most states of USA require a Cardiac Catheterization Assistant to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. These professionals can obtain a certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
Besides the knowledge in patient care, Cardiac Catheterization Assistants possess wide range of skills such as dexterity to perform procedures, attention to detail, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, physical stamina to work for long duration, ability to perform duties with accuracy in time limitations, work with compassion, assisting the patients emotionally and physically, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Cardiac Catheterization Assistant remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 30% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Cardiac Catheterization Assistant was $59,986 in 2014.