Advances in the field of cardiovascular technology have led to the demand for educational programs that focus on providing students with the tools they need to be successful in an increasingly technology-driven world.
A cardiovascular technologist program prepares students to care for patients who have heart disease, atrial fibrillation (Afib), and heart arrhythmia, along with other conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke that are often brought on by heart-related complications. Cardiovascular technologists also see patients whose ailments are often the result of obesity, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and tobacco use. Sometimes these conditions are even brought on by age, gender and family history. With such a wide range of ancillary conditions in addition to the patient's heart disease, a cardiovascular technologist needs to recognize many symptoms, and be able to detect any other problems the patient may not have even noticed.
When working in this field, a cardiovascular technologist can be expected to monitor a patient's vital signs as well as take accurate blood pressure readings. They may also perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) on a patient to monitor the performance of a patient's heart. This may also include evaluating a patient with a Holter monitor, which records a patient's heart activity within a 24-hour period, as well as performing a stress test on a patient.
Cardiovascular technologists can be expected to perform more complicated work, including assisting a doctor with a cardiac catheterization, preparing a patient before a surgical procedure and monitoring a patient during heart surgery. Trained cardiovascular technologists can assist surgeons with the insertion of pacemakers as well as stents. During these lifesaving operations, being a vital team member of a surgical staff is crucial not only to the surgeon, but also to the patient.
Advances in the Field
Significant advances in the cardiovascular field will require additional learning opportunities for students in a cardiovascular technologist program. This includes an increased study and understanding of the following:
Sophisticated imaging techniques that will be able to more accurately diagnosis a patient
New devices that can perform detailed arrhythmia analysis
Wireless as well as ambulatory patient monitoring
These sophisticated medical and technological advances will require cardiovascular technologists to be up to speed not only with knowledge of the latest medical equipment, but treatments, too.