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Are you the type of person who is committed to details, with an interest and aptitude for education in math and science? Maybe you are interested in learning hands-on high tech processes paired with direct patient interaction. Currently in the United States, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women, which has led to the demand for people with formal training in Cardiovascular Technology to grow faster than the average for other occupations.
Cardiovascular technologists are allied health professionals who work with cardiologists and assist in the diagnosis and treatment of heart (cardiac) and blood vessels (vascular) diseases. The following outlines the requirements for completing training for a career as a Cardiovascular Technologist:
- Associate's degree in cardiovascular technology from an accredited program at either a community college, technical school, or vocational school (There are also programs within four year colleges)
- 800 clinical training hours
- Completion of the registry test for the RCIS (Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist) certification There are several specializations one can choose to pursue as a cardiovascular technologist.
- cardiac electrophysiology
- invasive cardiology
- non-invasive cardiology
- invasive peripheral vascular
- Cardiovascular Technicians who specialize in electrocardiograms (EKGs) and are known as EKG technicians).
Within the United States, there are 35 cardiovascular programs currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP). Out of the 35 accredited programs, although some offer training in one or two of the cardiovascular specialties, only a select number of schools, such as Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington, and Sentara School of Health Professions in Chesapeake, Virginia, offer all specialties. You can find more information through the following link: http://www.caahep.org/
How Much Does Cardiovascular Technologist Training Cost?
The cost of cardiovascular technologist training varies depending on the school and program one chooses. Below are the average yearly costs for education (prices do not include room and board or expenses for books).
- Public four-year colleges - $7,020 per year in tuition and fees for full-time, in-state students - $11,528 for full-time out-of-state students.
- Private four-year colleges - $26,273 per year in tuition and fees.
- Public two-year colleges - $2,544 per year in tuition and fees.
For a more precise cost analysis, one should investigate how many credit hours are required for a specific Cardiovascular Technologist program, and the cost per credit hour. For example: Edison State College, in Ft. Myers, Florida- accredited Cardiovascular Technologist Program ( www.edison.edu.)
- 77 credit hours- Florida residents pay $89.88 per credit hour. Non-residents pay $333.40 per credit hour.
- Laboratory courses have a $30-$35 course lab fee attached
- Annual fee of $32.50 for liability and accidental injury insurance
- Clinic support fee of $ 125 is assessed for each of the four clinical courses.
- Tuition rates and fees are subject to review and change each academic year.
Paying for Cardiovascular Technologist Training
Financing your education can be handled with a few options: Grants and Scholarships, Federally Funded Loans, and/or Student Employment/ Work Study Aid. Grants and Scholarships are considered gift aid, and are not required to be paid back. Federally Funded Loans are generally low interest loans issued by the government that are required to be paid back. The following link will provide you with the information and appropriate documents needed to apply for Federal Student loans: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Work-study is also a federal program that provides you with part-time employment through the school, in order to help meet your financial needs. It is also meant to provide you with work experience while serving your campus and the surrounding community.
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