Cardiopulmonary Technicians are dedicated to assist the physicians who treat people suffering from heart and lung problems. Their responsibilities include monitoring patients’ heart rates and vital signs before and during procedures, reporting relevant data to physicians, administering local anesthesia, and maintaining the required machinery equipments. In addition, they schedule appointments, maintain patient histories, attend phone calls, offer emotional support to the patients and their family members, help to reduce anxiety, provide lifestyle counseling, play a role of liaison between patient and the physician so on and so forth.
Cardiopulmonary Technicians work under the direct supervision of cardiopulmonary specialists in variety of health care settings such as government and private hospitals, cardiac rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, medical laboratories etc. These professionals have to work even in evening, night and weekend shifts. They also need to perform duties on call.
To become a Cardiopulmonary Technician, the aspiring candidates have to earn at least a two-year associate’s degree in cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary technology from an accredited institution. The students can pursue degree course or higher studies in related field for better job opportunities. The syllabus in this field covers human anatomy, physiology, instrumentation, medical terminology, patient care, medical ethics etc.
Licensure and Certification
Since most states of USA require a Cardiopulmonary Technician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates must have to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program, which is a combination of classroom and hands-on training. These professionals can obtain a certification from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
Apart from the clinical knowledge, the Cardiopulmonary Technicians possess various skills such as attention to detail, dexterity to perform procedures, tolerance for long working hours, maintaining calm and helpful during stressful situations, high medical ethics, empathy towards patient, protecting patients’ confidentiality, understanding the spirit of team work, ability to perform duties with accuracy, physical stamina for lifting and positioning the patients and equipments, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Cardiopulmonary Technician remains excellent in USA. According to the 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 Cardiopulmonary Technician was $53,210 in 2013.