Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist
Invasive cardiology is an exciting and challenging career involving highly sophisticated equipment to create images that aid physicians in diagnosing cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease.
Cardiovascular technologists who perform invasive procedures are called cardiovascular invasive specialists. They assist physicians with cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is guided through the patient's blood vessels into the heart.
This procedure can determine if a blockage exists in the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle and can help diagnose other problems. Part of the procedure may involve balloon angioplasty or stenting, which treat blockages of blood vessels or heart valves, without the need for heart surgery.
Cardiovascular invasive specialists also prepare patients for cardiac catheterization and interventions, and monitor blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) equipment during procedures and the implantation of pacemakers.
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Nationwide there is a high clinical need for cardiovascular invasive specialists. More than 2,100 cardiac catheterization laboratories and more than 600 electrophysiology/pacemaker laboratories operate in the United States today. About eight of 10 jobs are hospital-based.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians is expected to increase by 26 percent through the year 2016, much faster than the average for other health care technology occupations. Growth will occur as the population ages, because older people have a higher incidence of heart disease and other complications of the heart and vascular system.
Starting salaries for the cardiovascular technologists average $39,000 to $40,000 annually. Salary depends upon location and employer.
Median annual earnings of cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $42,300 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,900 and $55,670.
Visit the following Web sites to find out more about the rewards of the cardiovascular invasive specialist profession: