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Cardiac Echo Technician Job Description, Career as a Cardiac Echo Technician, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

heart technicians patients able

Education and Training Associate’s degree

Average Salary $39,000 per year

Job Outlook Very good

Basic Job Description

Cardiac echo technicians use noninvasive testing equipment that perform procedures on patients such as ultrasounds to photograph and diagnose diseases in the cardiac organs of the body, primarily the heart valves, chambers and vessels. Cardiac echo techs also perform stress test procedures on patients who are suffering high blood pressure or other diseases that may be caused by increased stress levels. They must be able to effectively operate the machinery and tell through a photo taken whether or not the patient should seek treatment for diseases or disorders of the heart. A cardiac echo technician is not a doctor, but often works alongside cardiac surgeons to perform standard procedure tests to analyze and determine the necessary steps that need to be taken for a patient’s heart health.

Education and Training Requirements

In order to become a cardiac echo technician, students must complete a 2 year associate’s program and then obtain a state certification through a state administered test. Classes taken in a cardiology associate’s program include diagnostic testing, stress testing, electrocardiography, operation of pace makers and defibrillators, and echocardiographic imaging.

Before working on their own, a cardiac echo technician will work alongside another technician or doctor that is already experienced in the cardiac field. In order to become certified in some states, a technician will be required to work under a doctor or technician for a certain number of hours before they are qualified to work with patients on their own.

Getting the Job

To get a job as a cardiac echo technician, a state certificate is required for any applicants. The ideal candidate will show an excellent understanding of how to operate various types of cardiology equipment and be able to effectively communicate with patients. The cardiac echo technician will be able to fully explain any test results to patients and recommend any further medical examinations that may need to be done. The technician will also communicate well with doctors and other medical staff to keep everyone up to date and in the know about patient needs.

A cardiac echo technician must fully understand the operations of the heart. They must know the functions of different valves, vessels and chambers and be able to depict through an ultrasound photo whether or not they are working properly. A technician must also be able to explain the functions to patients and compare a properly functioning heart to a heart that is not working properly.

Cardiac echo technicians must also be able to easily adapt to constantly changing medical equipment developed by new forms of technology.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The growth rate of demand for cardiac echo technicians is expected to rapidly increase over the next several years due to new medical technology and techniques being done along with the advancements.
The baby boomer generation is also causing a higher demand for cardiac echo technicians. Elderly patients require more tests for heart conditions, so the rise in the elderly population also creates a rise in demand for technicians who can cater to them and provide the testing and care they need.

Heart related illnesses are also increasing in number, so more technicians are needed to treat patients. Some cardiac echo technicians find themselves moving up in the cardiology field after working as a technician for several years. They can move up to work alongside heart surgeons, or even advance their career by obtaining a doctorate degree and becoming a cardiologist or heart surgeon.

Working Conditions and Environment

Cardiac echo technicians usually work in hospitals or private clinics that specialize in heart care. They can also specialize in pediatric cardiac technologies to work with children. Pediatric cardiac echo technicians often work in pediatrician offices or children’s hospitals.

A cardiac echo technician spends a lot of time operating machinery, catering to patients and making them feel comfortable, and walking between patient rooms and transferring patients to rooms with different machinery. Technicians spend a lot of time on their feet and operating machines to perform specific procedures.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a cardiac echo technician is $39,000 per year. Due to the growth in demand for cardiac echo techs, the average salary will more than likely increase to about $60,000 per year.
With the rise in heart related health problems, cardiac echo technicians are becoming more and more common to have in all clinics and doctor’s offices. This is causing the rapidly increasing demand for them, as more patients are suffering heart related illnesses earlier in life and more technology is being developed to test for these illnesses.

Where to Go for More Information

Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals
P.O. Box 2007
Midlothian, VA 23112
(804) 632-0078
http://www.acp-online.org

American Heart Association
National Center
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
(800) 242-8721
http://www.americanheart.org

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