Courses in cardiac catheterization focus on invasive testing and diagnostic procedures commonly used in cardiac catheterization laboratories. In addition to these courses, associate's programs in cardiovascular technology require students to take courses in anatomy and physiology, cardiovascular pharmacy, hemodynamics and cardiovascular assessment skills. Some courses may require students to complete clinical experiences in a medical facility and labs on campus. Individuals who graduate from an associate's degree program in this field are qualified for employment as cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists.
Here are a few common concepts found in cardiac catheterization courses:
- The human body and its internal systems
- The human heart
- Methods of monitoring the heart
- Equipment and laboratory procedures
- Medical environments
List of Common Courses
Human Anatomy and Physiology Course
Completing a course in human anatomy is a common prerequisite to many cardiovascular technology programs. The course offers an overview of the human body and prepares students for further study in cardiovascular anatomy. Students gain a fundamental understanding of the circulatory, respiratory, sensory, digestive, skeletal, muscular, endocrine and reproductive systems.
Cardiovascular Anatomy Course
This course teaches students about the anatomy and pathophysiology of the heart. Students learn about the parts and functions of the heart, as well as the diseases that can affect it. Topics may include embryonic and congenital heart conditions, as well as heart diseases that can develop over time as a result of lifestyle choices.
Cardiovascular Testing Techniques Course
Many degree programs in cardiovascular technology include a course in arrhythmic cardiac pattern detection. Testing techniques include use of the electrocardiogram, X-rays, Holter monitoring and stress tests. Students are trained to recognize signs of heart disease or other cardiovascular abnormalities using these evaluation tools.
Introduction to Cardiac Catheterization Techniques Course
Cardiac catheterization can be taught on several levels, but most cardiovascular technology degree programs include a basic course that introduces students to the equipment and procedures used in cardiac catheterization laboratories. Topics include sterilization, radiography, hemodynamics and pharmacology. Course instruction may also include patient assessment, as well as possible complications that can occur during cardiac catheterization and potential treatments.
Advanced Cardiac Catheterization Techniques Course
Many cardiovascular technology programs also include advanced courses in cardiac catheterization. In addition to further instruction in laboratory procedures, course topics include various cardiac diseases, such as angina, dysrhythmias, pericardial disorders and valve diseases. Students can also learn about specialty catheters, the use of shunts, cardiac outputs and vascular resistance.
Clinical Practicum Course
Clinical practicum courses include several levels of hands-on instruction in a laboratory setting. Clinical settings take place in hospital emergency rooms, intensive care units, cardiology departments and cardiac catheterization labs. Activities can range from observation to participation in various cardiac catheterization procedures.