Schools for Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists

Cardiovascular invasive specialists assist doctors with invasive heart procedures and tests. There is a certification exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) to become a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist (RCIS). Individuals with the appropriate work experience or education may earn this certification. Qualifications for the examination are available at the official CCI website. Read on to learn how to find a school for registered cardiovascular invasive specialists.

How to Select a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist School

Individuals aspiring to become registered cardiovascular invasive specialists can find education programs at community colleges, technical schools, teaching hospitals and 4-year universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Certification requirements
  • Previous education or work experience
  • Variety of courses and clinical training
  • Distance learning options

Certification Requirements

While it is not required by law, most employers prefer or require candidates to complete certification. Students may qualify to become registered cardiovascular invasive specialists through CCI by completing a number of programs, including health science, engineering or nursing, with a focus in an area such as cardiovascular technology, invasive cardiology or vascular technology. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are more widely available in an invasive cardiovascular specialty and may be preferable to programs in general cardiovascular technology.

Previous Education or Work Experience

Certificate programs are commonly offered as continuing education options and could be preferable to students with work experience or who hold an associate's or bachelor's degree and are in need of specialization. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs can qualify graduates to enter directly into the field. Bachelor's degree programs typically offer more extensive clinical experiences and a broader range of coursework.

Variety of Courses and Clinical Training

Beyond invasive cardiovascular technology, there are multiple opportunities for specialization through courses in fetal, pediatric and adult echocardiography. Students may also enroll in programs that include courses, educational tracks or clinical experiences in vascular technology. Experience or certification in additional aspects of the field could be professionally beneficial.

Distance Learning Options

Distance education options through online courses and lectures may be available at some schools, particularly in programs designed as continuing education experiences for employed students, such as certificate and bachelor's degree programs. Students should keep in mind that some courses, as well as hands-on clinical experiences, typically require physical attendance.

Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Program Overviews

Certificate in Cardiovascular Technology

Certificate programs in cardiovascular technology rarely offer an invasive specialization but can still qualify students for RCIS certification. These programs may take two or more years to complete, including coursework and clinical experiences. Courses often include:

  • Cardiovascular and vascular sonography
  • Analysis of diseases and disorders
  • Medical devices
  • Pathophysiology
  • Instrumentation

Associate's Degree in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology

Associate's degree programs in invasive cardiovascular technology include coursework and clinical experiences. Because programs require general education courses and basic science courses such as anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, students may transfer easily from associate's degree programs to bachelor's degree programs. Associate's program courses include:

  • Catheterization
  • Electrophysiology
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Angiography
  • Heart disease

Bachelor's Degree in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology

Bachelor's degree programs can be completed in four years. They include general education courses and clinical experiences. They also commonly require internships. A senior project may also be mandatory for completion. Courses at this level are commonly broader in range, including topics such as:

  • Echocardiography
  • Non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular techniques
  • Vascular technology
  • Principles of medical imaging

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