Do you want to help doctors and surgeons use those electronic machines and instruments to test their patients? You must have seen movies when an actor is admitted to a hospital! These machines give test reports that help doctors provide treatment to their patients. Cardiac Care Technicians help those patients who have heart problems. Explore to find what Cardiac Care Technicians do, how they do it, and how to become one.
Cardiac Care Technicians assist surgeons or physicians in conducting various tests on patients suffering from cardiac or heart-related problems. These tests include an echocardiogram (ECG), electrocardiogram (EKG), stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record the activity of the patient’s heart.
Why become a cardiac care technician?
As a Cardiac Care Technician, you will be assisting surgeons or physicians in conducting various tests on patients suffering from cardiac or heart-related problems. These tests include an echocardiogram (ECG), electrocardiogram (EKG), stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record the activity of the patient’s heart.
You will be responsible for preparing and positioning patients before testing. You will have to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety during the tests. You will monitor patients’ heart rates, blood pressure, etc. using various instruments, before diagnostic or therapeutic procedures and notify doctors if something seems wrong to you.
You have to handle specific diagnostic and electronic equipment yourself in dedicated laboratory facilities of nursing homes and hospitals to help doctors suggest treatments or surgical procedures based on the patient’s condition.
Cardiac Care Technicians work indoors in a typical setting of a medical care center/hospital. As a Cardiac Care Technician, you may either work full-time or in shifts. Usually, you will work for around 10-11 hours daily if you are working full-time. Your work can sometimes involve critical medical cases too. You may have to work with other technologists and technicians inside an operation theatre before or after surgery.
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What does a cardiac care technician do?
As a Cardiac Care Technician, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –
- You will have to obtain and record patient identification and medical history.
- You will have to prepare and position patients before starting the test procedures.
- You will have to explain testing procedures to the patients so that they cooperate and their anxiety is reduced.
- You will monitor patients’ safety and comfort levels during the tests and make physicians alert about changes or abnormalities in patients’ behavior and responses.
- You will have to connect electrodes to the patient’s arms, chest, and legs, attach electrodes to the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate it to obtain a reading.
- You will adjust equipment and controls following established protocol or physicians’ orders.
- You will have to check, test, as well as maintain all cardiology equipment, making minor repairs whenever necessary for ensuring proper operation.
- You will have to ensure that the turnaround time (TAT-period of inactivity) between two patient cases is minimum (15 mins) and that the laboratory is cleaned up in 10 mins for the next case.
- You will have to write, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for use by doctors.
- You may have to perform ordinary administrative tasks, like ordering supplies or equipment or scheduling appointments.
How to become a cardiac care technician – eligibility criteria
After Class 10, you can go for:
- CTS courses.
- MES courses.
- Class 11-12.
After Class 11-12, you can go for:
- Diploma courses.
- B. Voc courses.
- NAC training and certificate.
After B. Voc, you can also go for a PG Diploma (Post Graduate Diploma) in related disciplines. Most recruiters today are looking for either Diploma holders or graduates in this discipline.
Various private/public training establishments across India also offer related courses for:
- Cardiovascular Technologies
- Medical Laboratory Technician (Cardiology and Physiology)
- Occupational Therapy (Cardiovascular & Respiratory)
- Physiotherapy (Cardio Pulmonary)
- Cardiovascular Science
- Cardio Thoracic Nursing
- Cardiac Anaesthesia
The cost of becoming a cardiac care technician in India can vary depending on the institution and the program you choose. Generally, the cost of a diploma or certificate program in cardiac care technology ranges from INR 50,000 to INR 2,00,000 for the entire course.
However, if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in cardiac care technology, the cost can go up to INR 1,00,000 to INR 5,00,000 per year.
You may get job roles like the following in hospitals, nursing homes, and diagnostic centers:
- Laboratory Technician (Cardiac Unit)
- Cath Lab Technician
- Cardiac Care Technician
- Cardiology Technician
- Cardiovascular Technician
- TMT (Treadmill Test) Technician
- ECG Technician
- EKG Technician
- Echo Technician
- Medical Record Technician
- Operation Theatre Technician
- EEG Technician
Salary of a cardiac care technician
At the beginning of your career, you can expect a salary ranging between Rs. 9,000 – 13,000 per month.
After around 5-7 years, you can expect a monthly salary ranging anywhere between Rs. 12,000 – 25,000.
After 10-12 years, you can earn around Rs. 20,000 – 35,000 per month.
There is a lot of demand for trained Cardiac Care Technicians abroad in cath or catheterization labs (which have testing equipment for arteries of the heart and chambers of the heart), mostly in Middle Eastern (like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc.) and African countries, some European countries (like Germany, etc.) or few Asian countries (like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.). After having 2-5 years of experience, as a Cardiac Care Technician, you can earn about Rs. 45,000 – 60,000 or more per month. In these jobs, after having, 7-12 years of experience, you can earn about Rs. 70,000 – 1,30,000 or even more per month.
Career Progression of Cardiac Care Technician Profession
You may grow through roles like Senior Laboratory Technician, Team Leader/ Supervisor in – Medical Lab Department, etc. after starting as a Laboratory Technician (Cardiac Unit), Cath Lab Technician, Cardiac Care Technician, Cardiology Technician, or Cardiovascular Technician.
What do industry trends say – Future Prospects
You can expect a bright future in this field as the industry growth prospects are encouraging. By 2022, the Indian healthcare industry is projected to reach US$ 372 billion, thanks to rising incomes, greater awareness, and increasing access to insurance. Also, by FY22 (fiscal year), the Indian hospital industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 16-17%, reaching US$ 132.84 billion. The number of doctors has increased from 8,27,006 (in 2010) to 8.41,104 (in 2017) and is expected to grow continually in the years to come.
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