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Career and Education Opportunities for Cardiac Technicians in Los Angeles, California

There are many career and education opportunities for cardiac technicians in the Los Angeles, California area. There are currently 2,700 jobs for cardiac technicians in California and this is projected to grow 26% to 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.

Income for cardiac technicians is about $26 per hour or $55,270 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $47,010 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as cardiac technicians in California earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: echocardiogram technician, vascular technician, and stress test technician.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including five within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as a cardiac technician. Cardiac technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a cardiac technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cardiac Technician

Cardiac Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Los Angeles 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.

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.

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.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has 2 areas of study related to Cardiac Technician. They are:

  • Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, nineteen, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Electrocardiograph Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated eighteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Pacific College - Costa Mesa, CA

Pacific College, 3160 Red Hill Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Pacific College is a small college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 52 students. Pacific College has a one to two year program in Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist which graduated ten students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.