Becoming a Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist
Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologists play a key role in diagnosing and treating the patients suffering from heart and blood vessel problems. They use ultrasound equipments at the direction of a supervising physician to create images of patients’ hearts and circulatory system to evaluate various aspects of cardiovascular difficulties. In some cases, these professionals assist physicians and surgeons during surgical procedures.
Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologists’ other duties include scheduling appointments, monitoring patients’ heart rate and blood pressure, evaluating the patients’ images and medical history, reporting their findings to concerned physicians, explaining test procedures to patients, preparing and positioning the patients for the procedure, maintaining ultrasound equipments etc.
Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologists work in variety of medical settings such as government and private hospitals, outpatient clinics, physician’s offices, diagnostic laboratories, medical laboratories, cardiac rehabilitation centers etc. These professionals need to work even in weekends and overnight shifts, when required.
To become a Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least a 2-year associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology. Students can earn a 4-year degree program in cardiovascular technology or related field to find better job opportunities. The course work includes anatomy, physics, pathology, physiology, electrocardiography, diagnostic testing, echocardiography imaging and techniques etc. However, some of Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologists are trained on the job as well.
Licensure & Certification
Since most of states in USA require a Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam. These professionals can obtain examination-based certification from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Besides the clinical knowledge, Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologists possess various skills such as attention to detail, dexterity to perform procedures, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, maintaining calm and helpful during stressful situations, ability to work with compassion and 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 Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist 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 Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist was $52,070 in May 2012.