The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic, therapeutic, or research purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
Sample of reported job titles:
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Technologist, Cardiac Catheterization Technician, Cardiac Technician, Cardiology Technician, Cardiopulmonary Technician, Cardiovascular Technician, Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT), Electrocardiogram Technician (EKG Tech), Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct electrocardiogram (EKG), phonocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record patients’ cardiac activity, using specialized electronic test equipment, recording devices, or laboratory instruments.
- Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
- Monitor patients’ blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
- Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
- Monitor patients’ comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
- Prepare and position patients for testing.
- Attach electrodes to the patients’ chests, arms, and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
- Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians’ orders or established protocol.
- Check, test, and maintain cardiology equipment, making minor repairs when necessary, to ensure proper operation.
- Supervise or train other cardiology technologists or students.
- Compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to identify abnormalities.
- Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
- Observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular information, such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation, or cerebral circulation.
- Assist surgeons with vascular procedures, such as preparing balloons and stents.
- Assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac or peripheral vascular treatments, such as implanting pacemakers or assisting with balloon angioplasties to treat blood vessel blockages.
- Assess cardiac physiology and calculate valve areas from blood flow velocity measurements.
- Operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of heart and cardiovascular system.
- Observe gauges, recorder, and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
- Inject contrast medium into patients’ blood vessels.
- Transcribe, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
- Enter factors, such as amount and quality of radiation beam, and filming sequence, into computer.
- Conduct tests of pulmonary system, using spirometer or other respiratory testing equipment.
- Activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
- Set up 24-hour Holter and event monitors, scan and interpret tapes, and report results to physicians.
- Perform general administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or ordering supplies or equipment.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Test patient heart or lung functioning.
- Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Maintain sterile operative fields.
- Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
- Monitor video displays of medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
- Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
- Position patients for treatment or examination.
- Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
- Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
- Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
- Repair medical facility equipment.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Train medical providers.
- Order medical supplies or equipment.
- Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
- Contact With Others — 94% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Physical Proximity — 89% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 62% responded “Very important results.”
- Deal With External Customers — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Electronic Mail — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Consequence of Error — 52% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Radiation — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 27% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Standing — 35% responded “Less than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to|
Interest code: RIS
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- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$28.41 hourly, $59,100 annual|
|Employment (2019)||57,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)|
Faster than average (5% to 7%)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||3,200|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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