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Cardiology Technician

Spring 2014 (pdf)  11/19/13Noncredit Certificate Program - Harrisburg/Lancaster (some classes available in Gettysburg, Lebanon, on line and York)

Program Brochure (pdf) (slick) 6/23/11

About the Program - Curriculum and Costs (pdf) 5/2/11
Noncredit Healthcare Certificate Program Course Offerings Summer/Fall 2013 (pdf)  7/9/13

Description of Occupation
- Cardiology technicians are allied health support personnel who can work in a variety of settings. This program is ideal for the person who is interested in an expanded role in healthcare. A Cardiology technician is a knowledgeable healthcare professional who is educated and trained to perform diagnostic procedures at the request of the physician to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with cardiac disease. The work place will vary from doctors' offices to hospital cardiology departments.

Cardiology technicians operate machines that record the electrical changes that occur during and between heartbeats. Cardiology technicians attach electrodes to specified areas of the patient's body and position electrodes to record electrical variations of the heart, keep EKG machine in proper working order, and edit results of EKG for analysis and interpretation. A printout is made for interpretation by the physician.

Cardiology technicians also perform Holter monitor testing. For Holter monitoring, technicians place electrodes on the patient's chest and attach a portable EKG monitor to the patient. Following 24 or more hours of normal activity by the patient, the technician removes a tape from the monitor and places it in a scanner. Physicians use the output from the scanner to diagnose arrhythmias or problems with pacemakers.

Cardiology technicians assist with treadmill stress testing as well. Technicians document the patient's medical history, explain the procedure, connect the patient to an EKG monitor, and obtain a baseline reading and resting blood pressure. Next, they monitor the heart's performance while the patient is walking on a treadmill, gradually increasing the treadmill's speed to observe the effect of increased exertion.

In addition to performing diagnostic cardiac procedures, they may be responsible for scheduling appointments, typing doctors' interpretations, maintaining patient files, and caring for equipment. Technicians generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week that may include weekends. Cardiology technicians spend a lot of time walking and standing.

Program Admission Criteria - This is a noncredit course. A college application, school transcripts and placement testing are not required. High school diploma or GED is required.  State Police Criminal Record Check and drug screening may be required for employment in the healthcare field but are not required to enter the program. Typing or keyboarding skills are helpful but not required.    Length of Program   - Noncredit course. The program is individualized and based on rotation of course offerings and student history. The program is offered evenings (a few courses are offered via internet) and is designed to be completed in approximately a year.  It is offered completely in Harrisburg and Lancaster. Certain EKG courses are expected to be offered alternately between the Harrisburg and Lancaster campuses.  Some classes may be available in Gettysburg, Lebanon and York as well. Quizzes and exams are given at the discretion of the instructor for each class. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded after successfully completing this program. After completion, students can pursue the national certification credential of CCT (Certified Cardiovascular Technician) by sitting for the examination as offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). CRAT Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician also offered by CCI.   Completion of this program, combined with six months of work experience and the credential of CCT may allow for college credit in pursuit of either of the cardiovascular associate degrees at HACC (cardiac sonography or invasive cardiovascular technician).

Veterans Education Benefits - Non-credit Healthcare Programs which result in a certificate upon completion are approved for veterans education benefits. VA benefits are based on the length of the class and the number of clock hours per week. Benefits are determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tuition must be paid in advance since VA benefits are disbursed on a post-payment basis. Information on veterans education benefits is available from the Military and Veterans Affairs Office, Cooper 204B, 717-780-2331 or e-mail  vaoffice@hacc.edu.

Places of Employment and Outlook - Good. Growth will occur as the population ages because older people have a higher incidence of heart disease. Individuals trained in Holter monitoring and stress testing are expected to have favorable job prospects than are those who can perform only a basic EKG. Some job openings for Cardiology Technicians will arise from replacement needs as individuals transfer to other jobs or leave the labor force. However, job growth and replacement needs will produce relatively few job openings because the occupation is small.  HACC does not offer assistance in job placement for this program at this time.

Students who complete the certificate program will be qualified to work in a doctor’s office, hospital pre-admission testing area, cardiology department or a variety of outpatient testing facilities. Salary Range - $31,836 median salary for monitor technician in Lancaster (zip 17602) from www.salary.com Nov 2013

Related Websites
Cardiovascular Credentialing International
Career InfoNet
US Dept of Labor Occupational Handbook
Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals (select Careers at the top of the page)

If you have specific questions about the Cardiology Technician program, contact

Cardiac Technician Program
717-221-1352 or 800-222-4222, ext. 211351

To register for classes, call 717-780-2414.

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