Matters of the Heart: Cardiovascular Technology Jobs are on the Rise
There are many rewarding careers in health care, but few are as in-demand as those positions related to heart health. The need for professionals in heart-related fields is due to the high rate of heart disease in the nation.
In fact, according the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every six health care dollars in the nation is spent on treating heart disease. The CDC also reports that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and a major cause of disability.
Given the high need for treatment of individuals affected by this issue, there has continued to be a boom in heart-related positions in the health care field. Cardiovascular technologists make up many of those positions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job availability in this field is expected to grow by 22 percent - much faster than the national average - through 2024. BLS also cites that the average salary for cardiovascular technologists in South Carolina is $47,810.
Faculty in the program are seeing some students receive that average level of pay right after graduation.
“One of my students last year was a minimum wage worker the whole time she was in our program,” said Laura Boone, non-invasive cardiovascular technology instructor. “She graduated and immediately got a job at the hospital where she did her clinical training and started out making over $24 an hour.”
As the only two-year program of its kind in South Carolina, Piedmont Technical College’s cardiovascular technology program offers a comprehensive study of both invasive and non-invasive cardiovascular technology.
“Our program accepts 20 students every January,” said Boone. “Those students are trained in non-invasive and invasive techniques during their first semester. We give them a lot of exposure in these two areas so that they can make the right choice between the two by the end.”
Invasive cardiology utilizes highly sophisticated equipment to perform procedures for diagnostic and interventional treatment of cardiovascular diseases through cardiac catheterization. Non-invasive cardiology uses ultrasound to perform diagnostic examinations on patients.
The program provides hands-on experience in these two areas through labs and work in real health care settings. Students learn from well-trained instructors in the classroom and work side by side with physicians and cardiologists during their training to perform actual procedures.
With the completion of the program, students can sit for one of two exams, based on their area of expertise. Students from the invasive cardiology side can sit for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist exam while those from the non-invasive will take the Registered Cardiac Sonographer exam.
For more information on the cardiovascular technology program, contact Boone at (864) 941-8717 or Christy Nichols at (864) 941-8618 or go to www.ptc.edu/cardio.