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Career and Education Opportunities for Cardiac Technicians in Chesapeake, Virginia

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for cardiac technicians in the Chesapeake, Virginia area. The national trend for cardiac technicians sees this job pool growing by about 24.1% over the next eight years. Cardiac technicians generally conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes.

Income for cardiac technicians is about $26 hourly or $55,420 per year on average in Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $22 hourly or $47,010 annually. Earnings for cardiac technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Healthcare Technical in Virginia and better than general Healthcare Technical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: cardiovascular sonographer, cardiac catherization laboratory technologist, and cath lab radiological technologist .

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Chesapeake area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chesapeake where you can get a degree to start your career as a cardiac technician. Given that the most common education level for cardiac technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn 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 Chesapeake 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.
  • 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

Sentara School of Health Professions - Chesapeake, VA

Sentara School of Health Professions, 1441 Crossways Blvd, Suite 105, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Sentara School of Health Professions is a small school located in Chesapeake, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 393 students and an admission rate of 48%. Sentara School of Health Professions has a one to two year program in Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist which graduated thirty 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: Chesapeake, Virginia

Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia photo by BetacommandBot

Chesapeake is located in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 220,111, which has grown by 10.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chesapeake, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chesapeake are priced at $160,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-nine new homes were constructed in Chesapeake, down from seven hundred fifty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Chesapeake are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and transportation equipment. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 24.7% of Chesapeake residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chesapeake is 6.1%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Pleasant Grove Church, Refuge Mission Church and Saint Andrews Church are among the churches located in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake is home to the Jacks Camp and the Portlock Yard as well as Cascade Park and Ford Park. Shopping malls in the area include Great Bridge Shopping Center, Greenbrier Mall Shopping Center and Poplar Hill Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chesapeake can choose from Courtyard By Marriott, Chesapeake Travelodge Motel and Comfort Inn Bowers Hill for temporary stays in the area.