Diagnostic Cardiology Technicians aid physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients. They conduct EKG and ultrasound testing to asses and diagnose different aspects of heart problems. Their responsibilities include preparing and maintaining diagnostic imaging equipment; analyzing the images or test results; reporting their findings to a supervising physician; recording patients’ medical histories etc. Some of these professionals also assist physicians and surgeons during surgical procedures.
Diagnostic Cardiology Technicians work in both government and private medical settings. They are employed at hospitals, doctors’ offices, diagnostic laboratories, catheterization labs, cardiac rehabilitation facilities, outpatient care centers etc. They work closely with physicians as well as patients. They usually work full time. They may work even in weekends, evenings or overnight shifts.
To become a Diagnostic Cardiology Technician, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least a 2-year associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology. The course work includes anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, diagnostic testing, electrocardiography, EKG interpretation and medical terminology.
Students can also go for a 4-year degree program in diagnostic medical sonography or cardiovascular technology for broader job prospects in this field. However, the employers mostly prefer the candidates having some experience of practical skills related to cardiology.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Diagnostic Cardiology Technician requires to be licensed in many states, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. These professionals can also obtain an examination-based certification from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
In addition to clinical knowledge, a Diagnostic Cardiology Technician possesses variety of traits such as high level of attention to detail, strong hand-eye coordination, dexterity to perform procedures, high medical ethics, empathy towards patient, ability to work in a pressure situation, ability to operate complex machinery & computerized instruments, physical stamina to work for long periods, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, competent in computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Diagnostic Cardiology Technician remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 39% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Diagnostic Cardiology Technician was $60,350 in 2012.