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Career and Education Opportunities for Cardiac Technicians in Chattanooga, Tennessee

There are many career and education opportunities for cardiac technicians in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. There are currently 910 jobs for cardiac technicians in Tennessee and this is projected to grow 26% to about 1,140 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%. In general, cardiac technicians conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes.

Cardiac technicians earn about $19 per hour or $40,560 annually on average in Tennessee and about $22 hourly or $47,010 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for cardiac technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Tennessee, and better than the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. Cardiac technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: electrocardiograph technician, cardiac catherization laboratory technologist, and electrocardiogram technician .

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga 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 training to become 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 Chattanooga 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 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

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has an associate's degree program in Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist which graduated eight 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.