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Cardiology Professions Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options

Cardiology Professions Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options Transcript

The healthcare industry is one of the largest industries in the nation, which makes medical careers in emerging areas attractive options for students. One emerging area of medicine is cardiology. Cardiologists specialize in functions and disorders of the heart. Physicians in this area of medicine monitor patients' cardiovascular health and advise them on treatment options. In addition to medical doctors, hospitals also employ a number of cardio support staff. Among these are cardiovascular technologists and technicians. In high demand, cardiology professionals enjoy rewarding work in which they are able to help improve the lives of their patients.

Introduction

Cardiologists specialize in functions and disorders of the heart and blood vessels. These medical professionals monitor patients' cardiac health and advise them on treatment options. Often these treatments follow a heart attack or diagnosis of heart disease, coronary disease or congenital heart problems. Cardiologists conduct a wide range of medical tests to determine abnormalities in their patients. Following testing, these professionals make recommendations for treating conditions. Among these may be prescription of medication, diet and exercise regiments or, in more severe cases, surgical procedures.

In addition to medical doctors, hospitals also employ a number of cardio support staff. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians help cardiologists administer such tests as electrocardiograms, catheterization and echocardiograms. These professionals also help prepare patients' for tests, attend to diagnostic equipment and assist cardiologists in a number of other ways.

Typical Coursework

Schooling for positions in cardiology can vary significantly depending upon the level at which an individual would like to practice. Students who choose to become cardiologists must complete a bachelor's degree and then proceed to medical school. Undergraduate degrees for aspiring medical professionals generally include courses in biology, physics, mathematics and chemistry. Medical school usually consists of four-year programs followed by residencies of at least a few years. This is a period of intensive study of the human body and its systems as well as hands-on training in medical facilities.

For those interested in cardio careers requiring a shorter educational commitment, many postsecondary institutions offer degree programs for cardiovascular technologists and technicians. These are often two-year associate programs, but four-year options are increasingly available for greater specialization. Students of these programs take applied courses that prepare them to assist cardiologists working with patients. This preparation includes becoming familiar with electrocardiograms, catheterization, echocardiograms and other cardio testing, including training in operating diagnostic equipment.

Job Prospects

Medical professionals specializing in cardiovascular health are in high demand. This is in large part due to growth of an aging population in which heart problems are increasingly common. Cardiologists provide expertise in this area of health, and it can be expected that these physicians will be in great need for the foreseeable future. The demand for support staff, including cardiovascular technologists and technicians, is also particularly great. Most of these cardiovascular professionals work in hospitals and clinic settings.

Conclusion

Cardiology professionals enjoy rewarding healthcare careers in which they're able to positively affect the lives of their patients. Cardiologists can expect to enjoy lucrative careers with a very high ceiling on their pay scale. While not as lucrative as more high-profile medical careers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians can also earn a healthy living.

Sources

www.bls.gov/oco

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