An Associate of Invasive Cardiovascular Technology degree program generally requires two years of study at an allied health school, community college or technical school. Admission to some schools may require that students take basic biology, math and chemistry courses before enrolling, in addition to holding a minimum grade point average. Some schools require communications courses as well.
Associate's Degree in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology
Students learn how to perform medical procedures such as inserting catheters into arteries or assisting during balloon angioplasty. Courses include general education classes and specific cardiovascular technology studies. Students learn cardiovascular physiology and electrocardiogram interpretation. Additionally, clinical work will likely be assigned. This gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field. Course topics may include:
- Medical terminology
- Radiation safety practices
- Health care policy
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for all types of cardiovascular technologists and technicians was expected to grow by 22% from 2014-2024. This is mainly due to an aging population with a higher incidence of heart disease, according to the BLS. In May 2015, the median salary for cardiovascular technicians and technologists was $54,880 per the BLS.
Continuing Education and Professional Credentials
Cardiovascular technologists can learn new techniques and update their current skills through continuing education courses. The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals offers a number of online classes to its members. Many employers prefer to hire cardiovascular technologists with certification from a professional credentialing organization, such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Graduates of an accredited invasive cardiovascular technology program can take an exam to earn credentials as registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, level 4.
For students interested in the technical side of healthcare, an associate's degree in invasive cardiovascular technology is an option; and has the advantage of being in high demand.