What Cardiovascular Techs Wish Their Patients Knew
Cardiovascular technologists play an indispensable role in detecting heart-related conditions like blood clots, arrhythmia, and birth defects. The medical team (including cardiologists, physicians, and surgeons) depend on their knowledge and skills to make educated diagnoses.
Most members of the public, however, don’t know much about cardiovascular technologists because they tend to work more behind the scenes than their medical counterparts.
Read on to become more familiar about this exciting field – and discover how you can even join this rewarding allied health career without a medical degree!
1. Cardiovascular Techs Aren’t Doctors...
Like most allied health professionals, registered non-invasive CTs perform tests (like cardiac sonography or peripheral vascular sonography) under the supervision and direction of physicians. They may also assist during medical emergencies when heart attacks are suspected.
Invasive cardiovascular technologists with more experience may be asked to join the surgical team during procedures like cardiac catheterization and stent implants.
Only medical doctors can diagnose patients, but they’re able to do so by using the information from expertly-taken tests.
2. ...But They’re Still Certified Health Professionals
Even though CTs don’t have to obtain a medical degree to work, they go through rigorous hands-on training to become experts in their field. In fact, cardiovascular technology programs average between 2 and 3 years, longer than almost every other allied health career.
So while patients can’t ask them for a diagnosis, they can definitely depend on receiving excellent care from a passionate, accredited cardiovascular tech.
3. It’s Okay to Ask Your Cardiovascular Tech Questions
Patients with suspected heart conditions are understandably nervous, but they should feel comfortable asking their cardiovascular tech about the machines being used and procedures being conducted. Having a better understanding of these elements can quickly calm an otherwise anxious person, which in turn provides far better test results.
4. Inform Your CT About Your Symptoms
Accredited cardiovascular technology programs prepare CTs to look for specific indicators that signify heart issues. If you’re suffering from strange symptoms like extreme fatigue, jaw pain, and unusual sweating, immediately inform your cardiovascular tech so they can determine what to look for, how to prioritize different tests, and who to communicate with on the medical team.
5. Cardiovascular Technologists Are There to Help
In addition to supporting doctors, registered nurses, and various departments throughout the hospital, the main mission of any CT is to provide the clearest route towards a diagnosis. From prepping patients to performing routine tests to assisting in the operating room, cardiovascular techs are there every step of the way.
6. Ongoing Education Is the Norm
Because their daily work routines revolve around technological devices like EKG machines and ultrasound equipment, cardiovascular technologists have to keep up with constant advancements in the field. What’s more, ongoing education is typically a requirement for a CT to maintain their certification.
This helps to ensure that your certified cardiovascular technologist is up-to-date on the latest happenings.
6. CTs Are Health Professionals and Teachers
Heart disease is overwhelmingly the leading cause of death in the United States. When coupled with increasingly sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits, this statistic isn’t set to go anywhere anytime soon.
Although around 10% of cardiac arrest cases occur in patients under 45, heart disease most often affects people over 60. By 2031, the Baby Boomer generation will make up 20% of the country’s population, and a staggering 65%-75% of this group is expected to suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Not all heart disease is preventable (especially genetic conditions), but a major part of a CT’s job involves educating patients on how to lower cholesterol levels, encourage daily exercise, and understand the symptoms they should be mindful of.
7. There’s Never Been a Better Time to Join This Field
An increasing number of patients suffering from heart disease has resulted in a shortage of qualified cardiovascular professionals. While unfortunate for the general population seeking care, this deficit works in favor of those seeking allied health careers in cardiovascular fields.
Interested in Learning More about Cardiovascular Technology?
If this article has sparked an interest in discovering more about this allied health field – and you’re living in the New Jersey area – speak to an AIMS Education representative. Not only will they be able to answer all of your questions, but they’ll get you on the right track towards being the most prepared, confident, and knowledgeable professional possible.