Cardiovascular Technology Certificate: Program Overview

Undergraduate-level cardiovascular technology certificate programs can prepare students for entry-level positions performing non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular testing. Many programs include certification exam preparation.

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Essential Information

Cardiovascular technology certificate programs teach skills needed to assist physicians in diagnostic cardiographic procedures. Students in these one-year 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. Prior to graduation, they must get real-world experience through clinical practices.

Program Coursework

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
  • Echocardiology
  • 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 22% between 2014 and 2024. 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 2015 was reported as $54,880 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.

Aspiring cardiovascular technologists can get the medical expertise and technical skills they need by earning a certificate in the field. After finishing, they may improve their employment prospects by continuing their education.

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