Cardiac Rehabilitation Technicians play a key role in rebuilding the strength of the heart and cardiovascular system of the people, who have suffered from a heart attack or other heart problems and even to ones who have had a heart surgery. Their responsibilities include developing and monitoring exercise program according to patient’s physical response, providing nutritional counseling, assisting in proper medication and instructing patients to practice a healthy lifestyle in order to strengthen cardiovascular system and prevent further heart problems.
In addition, these professionals perform other duties such as collecting clinical data of patients, keeping the medical records safely, reporting to higher authority, providing emotional support to the patients and their family members etc.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Technicians work in both government and private medical settings. They are employed at general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, medical and diagnostic laboratories, nursing and residential care facilities, cardiac wellness centers so on and so forth. They may have to work on nights, weekends and sometime on-call to respond to emergencies.
To become a Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician, the aspiring candidates need to earn a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy, Exercise Science, Exercise Therapy or Kinesiology. The syllabus in this program includes human anatomy, nutrition metabolism, physical therapy, electrocardiography, stress management, emergency care, personal safety etc.
Since most states of USA require the Cardiac Rehabilitation Technicians to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing examination such as the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
Besides the knowledge in patient care, Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician possess wide range of skills such as attention to detail, high medical ethics, empathy towards patients, physical stamina to work for long duration, ability to work with compassion, management skills, 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 Rehabilitation Technician remains excellent. 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 Rehabilitation Technician was $52,070 in 2012.