Cardiovascular Technology Certificate: Program Overview
Cardiovascular technology certificate programs can prepare students for entry-level positions performing non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular testing. Many programs include certification exam preparation.
Cardiovascular technology certificate programs teach skills needed to assist physicians in diagnostic cardiographic procedures. Students in these programs can also learn to diagnose, evaluate, and treat patients with cardiac diseases. They usually study anatomy of the heart as well as medical terminology and the use of medical equipment.
- Program Levels in Cardiovascular Technology: Certificate
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
- Program Length: 1 year
- Other Requirements: Clinical practices
Physiology, lab assisting, and EKG test analysis are areas that might be covered in a cardiovascular technology certificate program. Students may also prepare to take certification exams, such as the Electrocardiograph Technician exam administered by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Other than the cardiac cycle, some specific courses in these programs might include:
- Legal aspects of patient care
- Sinus rhythm/bradycardis/tachycardia
- Respiratory therapy
- Fundamentals of healthcare
- Life support
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates can go on to become EKG technicians, pacemaker technicians, or stress testing technicians in a variety of healthcare venues. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job opportunities for cardiovascular technologists and technicians were expected to grow by 30% between 2012 and 2022. This projection was mainly based on the increased number of older individuals with heart disease, and technological advances in vascular equipment. The median salary for cardiovascular technicians and technologists in 2014 was reported as $54,330 by the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
The BLS stated that the most common academic path for cardiovascular technologists is an associate's degree, although certification is also desired by many employers. Though earning certification is optional, it was noted that professionals who earn certification in multiple specialties and have training in several types of procedures should have the best opportunities. Certifying organizations, such as ASPT or Cardiovascular Credentialing International, usually require some academic or experiential background to qualify.