New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.
Cardiovascular Technician in Louisiana - What it Takes to Become a Cardiovascular Technician in Louisiana
Cardiovascular technicians, also called cardiovascular technologists, use imaging to assist with diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac and vascular system conditions. With the baby boomer population growing older and needing more healthcare, the job outlook for this profession is very good. It is expected that there will be twenty-nine percent growth by 2020, which is over twice the expected average growth for all occupations (fourteen percent). The annual median wage for a cardiovascular technician in Louisiana is $39,450, significantly lower than the national median wage for the occupation, which is $52,160. However, with job openings increasing in hospitals, physician offices, medical labs, diagnostic labs, outpatient care centers, colleges/universities, and professional schools.
To become a cardiovascular technician in Louisiana, there are three basic steps. The first step is to choose between three different specialties within the profession. Cardiovascular technologists can train to be vascular technicians, echocardiography, and invasive cardiology. Vascular technicians use ultrasound imaging to monitor the circulatory system, collecting information for physicians and setting patients at ease about the procedure. Echocardiography technologists perform EKG's, Holter procedures, heart sonograms, and stress testing. Invasive cardiology technicians actually assist doctors with cardiac procedures, like heart catheters. They also aid in diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac conditions.
The second step is to choose from cardiovascular technician programs in Louisiana. Most cardiovascular technologists have at least a two year associate's degree, but there are one-year training programs for the most basic level of cardiovascular tech. Louisiana is one of only five states that have colleges or universities that offer a four year bachelor's degree in cardiovascular technology. It is important to choose a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, because the third step in the process is to get certified. National certification requires training from an accredited program.
Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offers testing for certification in this field. The 180 to 200 multiple choice question exam covers anatomy and physiology specific to the cardiovascular system, basic math, and patient care. It is a timed test, taking 195 minutes. A cardiovascular technician in Louisiana can also be certified by the American Registry of Medical Sonographers to do heart sonograms. In addition to all the training from excellent cardiovascular technician programs in Louisiana, a cardiovascular technologist has to have great interpersonal skills, to gain the cooperation of patients and put them at ease. In addition, they have to follow detailed instructions from physicians very precisely. They also have to communicate well with patients and doctors.
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Louisiana State Board of Nursing
5207 Essen Lane, Suite 6
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
Phone: (225) 763-3570
Fax: (225) 763-3580
Louisiana Nurses Association