Career and Education Opportunities for Cardiac Technicians in Lancaster, California
Cardiac technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Lancaster, California area. There are currently 2,700 jobs for cardiac technicians in California and this is projected to grow 26% to about 3,400 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for cardiac technicians are expected to grow by about 24.1%. Cardiac technicians generally conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes.
A person working as a cardiac technician can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $55,270 annually on average in California and about $22 per hour or $47,010 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for cardiac technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in California, and better than the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: cath lab tech , cath lab rn , and cardiac catheterization special procedures technologist.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Lancaster where you can study to be a cardiac technician, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Lancaster area. The most common level of education for cardiac technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become a cardiac technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cardiac Technician
In general, cardiac technicians conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. They also may conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
Cardiac technicians explain testing procedures to patient to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety. They also ready and position patients for testing. Equally important, cardiac technicians have to obtain and record patient identification, medical history or test results. They are often called upon to monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses. They are expected to adjust apparatus and controls in line with physicians' orders or established protocol. Finally, cardiac technicians attach electrodes to the patients' chests and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
Every day, cardiac technicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for cardiac technicians to supervise and train other cardiology technologists and students. They are often called upon to observe gauges and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system. They also check and maintain cardiology apparatus, making minor repairs when needed, to insure proper operation. They are sometimes expected to perform general administrative tasks. Somewhat less frequently, cardiac technicians are also expected to activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
Cardiac technicians sometimes are asked to activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system. They also have to be able to observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular data such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation and cerebral circulation and compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to pinpoint abnormalities. And finally, they sometimes have to observe gauges and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
Like many other jobs, cardiac technicians must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lancaster include:
- Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
- Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
- Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
- Pharmacist Technician. Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.
- Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
- Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
- Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
- Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
- Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
- Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
- Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cardiac Technician Training
Associated Technical College - Los Angeles, CA
Associated Technical College, 1670 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017-1604. Associated Technical College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 197 students and an admission rate of 73%. Associated Technical College has a less than one year program in Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist which graduated 240 students in 2008.
West Coast Ultrasound Institute - Beverly Hills, CA
West Coast Ultrasound Institute, 291 S La Cienega Blvd Ste 500, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. West Coast Ultrasound Institute is a small school located in Beverly Hills, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 492 students. West Coast Ultrasound Institute has a one to two year program in Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist which graduated seventy-three students in 2008.
Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education - Baldwin Park, CA
Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education, 4640 Maine Ave, Baldwin Park, CA 91706-4221. Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education is a small school located in Baldwin Park, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,400 students. Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education has a less than one year program in Electrocardiograph Technology/Technician which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Certification in Clinical Perfusion: Certification in cardiovascular perfusion is evidence that a perfusionist's qualifications for operation of extracorporeal equipment are recognized by his/her peers.
For more information, see the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion website.
Registered Vascular Technologist: The examination's content outline includes: cerbrovascular, venous, peripheral arterial, abdomenal/visceral, miscellaneous conditions/tests, and quality assurance.
For more information, see the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers website.
Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.
For more information, see the ETA International website.
Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist: The RPFT Certification exam is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of an advanced pulmonary function technologist.
For more information, see the National Board for Respiratory Care website.
Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.
For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Lancaster, California
Lancaster is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 145,469, which has grown by 22.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lancaster, 130, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Lancaster cost $144,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Lancaster, down from eight hundred six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Lancaster are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 15.8% of Lancaster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Lancaster is 17.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Lancaster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Lancaster is home to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter Number 5 and the Lancaster City Hall as well as Mays Field and Mariposa Park. Shopping centers in the area include Antelope Valley Center Shopping Center, Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center and West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Lancaster can choose from Best Western Antelope Valley I, Aloha Motel and Bonaire Motel for temporary stays in the area.