Work with patients who have difficulty breathing.
A Cardiovascular Technologist assists a Physician in diagnosing and treating patients with heart and blood vessel conditions. Cardiovascular Technologists use specialized equipment to get a picture of the patient’s cardiovascular health and then assist a Cardiologist (heart Doctor) during surgical procedures. This is similar to the role of a Cardiovascular Technician, but you typically have more education, thus are given more responsibility and higher pay.
When an apprehensive patient comes through the door, you are prepared with your empathetic demeanor and professional knowledge. You inform the patient about procedures as you perform them. Non-invasive techniques such as an EKG or ultrasound are painless, but provide a wealth of information for the Doctor. The Cardiovascular Technologist applies sticky electrodes or use a wand to create images of the patient’s heart, blood vessels, arteries, and veins. In addition, you print out readings, which identify the heart’s electric activity. With this information, the Doctor can assess whether a pacemaker has failed, an artery is clogged, or a heart valve is stuck. Once the diagnosis is made, you assist with necessary surgeries.
A cardiac catheterization is one such surgery. For this procedure, you prep, clean and shave the patient and then assist in placing a small tube from the groin all the way up to the heart to diagnose any blockages. You monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate using an EKG machine and notify the Doctor of any concerns. Other procedures that you may assist include the insertion of stents, and pacemakers. The amount of your direct patient contact during surgery depends heavily on the Doctor. The amount of comfort you offer the patient depends heavily on you.