What does a Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician do?
Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests. Includes vascular technologists.
- Monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
- Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
- Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
- Observe gauges, recorder, and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
- Conduct electrocardiogram (EKG), phonocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record patients' cardiac activity, using specialized electronic test equipment, recording devices, or laboratory instruments.
- Prepare and position patients for testing.
- Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
- Attach electrodes to the patients' chests, arms, and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
- Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.
- Check, test, and maintain cardiology equipment, making minor repairs when necessary, to ensure proper operation.
- Supervise or train other cardiology technologists or students.
- Operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of heart and cardiovascular system.
- Inject contrast medium into patients' blood vessels.
- Observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular information, such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation, or cerebral circulation.
- Assess cardiac physiology and calculate valve areas from blood flow velocity measurements.
- Compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to identify abnormalities.
- Activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
- Enter factors such as amount and quality of radiation beam, and filming sequence, into computer.
- Conduct tests of pulmonary system, using spirometer or other respiratory testing equipment.
- Perform general administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or ordering supplies or equipment.
- Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
- Assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac or peripheral vascular treatments, such as implanting pacemakers or assisting with balloon angioplasties to treat blood vessel blockages.
- Transcribe, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
- Set up 24-hour Holter and event monitors, scan and interpret tapes, and report results to physicians.
- Assist surgeons with vascular procedures, such as preparing balloons and stents.