FAQ's - Eligibility/Admissions Requirements
Q: What are the prerequisites for entrance into the CVT program?
- You are eligible to apply to the cardiovascular technology program if chemistry 121/121A has been completed with a grade of "C" or higher, and...
- You must complete the TEAS test. The fee for taking the TEAS test is $55.
Q: Do I need to take the TEAS placement test if I have a college degree?
A: Yes, This is mandatory for all students desiring to enter the Cardiovascular Technology Program
Q: When do I need to apply to the College?
A: It is advised to apply to the College 1 to 2 semesters prior to the Cardiovascular Technology Program Deadline. This will allow your transcripts to be transferred into the CPCC system and meet with the counselors and take related general education courses.
Q: I would like to apply to the Cardiovascular Technology Program: what steps do I need to work toward admission?
- Complete the CPCC college admission application.
- Complete the TEAS exam, available in the testing center
- Meet with an Academic Counselor.
- Submit an official high school transcript and all college transcripts to Student Records, and request them to be evaluated.
- Submit an additional set of official copies of all transcripts with your program application.
- Select DESIRED AREA OF SPECIALTY within the program application.
- Submit the completed application and all required supporting documentation to the Admissions Clerk on Central Campus, room BL 3139, 704-330-6284 by the deadline shown on the application.
FAQ's - Program Overview
Q: How long is the program?
A: The Associate in Applied Science Degree program is a 2 year dedicated program. This is a consecutive 5 semester curriculum. This is depending on the general education courses which have already been taken or did not transfer toward CPCC courses.
Q: What is the selection process for applicants?
A: The program selects 18 students each fall – 9 non-invasive and 9 invasive students. The selection is made from the applicant pool that year and is based on the TEAS exam results with those scoring highest on the exam being ranked highest among applicants for that specialty track. The typical combined applicant pool is normally between 35 and 50 people annually.
Q: Where and what days/times are Cardiovascular Technology classes held?
A: The CVT classes are held on Central Campus, Monday through Thursday and generally from about 9 AM through 2 PM. Clinical rotations, which are held in conjunction with the academic classes in the spring of the first year and both the fall and spring semesters of the second year, usually begin about 8:00 AM and last through 4:00 PM and are held throughout the week, Monday through Friday outside of class time.
Q: What is the cost of the program?
A: Total educational costs vary from one person to another depending on when and where the general education courses are taken and residency status. Out-of-state residents have a higher tuition rate as opposed to in-state residents and tuition rates vary between colleges and universities.
However, once accepted into the Cardiovascular Technology Program at CPCC the cost of tuition, books, white lab coat, student ID and CVT patch, scrubs, radiation monitoring badge and medical health forms is approximately as follows:
- $5,600 for residents
- $20,200 for non-residents
Q: What if I do not know which specialty, cardiac catheterization technology or echocardiography technology, I would like to pursue?
A: The decision as to which track to choose is a personal decision and one not to be taken lightly. It is recommended that you take the opportunity to observe both fields and talk to people who work in the fields to find out what your desire is. To do this, open the admission process tab and click on the Observation opportunities link. Here you'll find information regarding how to spend a day observing in the cardiac cath lab and/or echo lab at CMC-Main/Sanger Clinic.
Q: May I take general education courses prior to admission to the Cardiovascular Technology Program?
A: Yes, you are highly encouraged to complete as many general education courses as posssible before entering the CVT program, although you are not required to complete all the general education courses prior to submitting your application. However, completing as much as possible provides the student with more time to focus on the core CVT courses, potentially leading towards greater success and understanding of the matierals presented while in the CVT program.
Please note that CIS 110 is a college graduation requirement. If this course is not already completed prior to entering the program, you must take it or achieve successful equivilency through "credit by examination" in the first semester upon entering the program.
Q: What is the anticipated pay range for a cardiovascular technologist?
A: Typically, the starting salary is $45,000 - $55,000 a year. This is depending on location and facility. The cardiovascular technologist is required to cover call in off hours and holidays. The call pay arrangement varies from institution to institution. This is a supplemental income to your base annual pay. The working hours for a cardiovascular technologist are Monday through Friday, with call after hours, weekends, and holidays. The hours may start at anywhere between 6:30 – 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 – 5:30 PM, depending on the rotation.
Q: What is meant by a clinical internship?
A: The first year of the program, students will observe in the echocardiography and cardiac catheterization departments at surrounding hospitals or clinics. In the second year of study during the fall term, students are assigned to a clinical site for 2 full days of hands-on skill development in your chosen track. During the spring term of the second year, students assigned to a clinical site for 4 full days a week, again, in your chosen track. These clincal rotations assist in preparing you for obtaining the needed skills in order to obtain employment after graduation.
FAQ's - Cardiovascular Technology Profession
Q: What is the anticipated pay range for a cardiovascular technologist?
A: Typically, the starting salary is in the area of $45,000 - $55,000 a year. This is depending on location and facility. The cardiovascular technologist is required to cover call in off hours and holidays. The call pay arrangement varies from institution to institution. This is a supplemental income to your base annual pay. The working hours for a cardiovascular technologist are Monday through Friday, with call after hours, weekends, and holidays. The hours may start at anywhere between 6:30 – 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 – 5:30 PM, depending on the rotation.
Q: Explain the role of a cardiovascular technologist in the medical field? Is there a difference between a cardiac catheterization technologist and an echocardiography technologist?
Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist:
The invasive cardiovascular technologist is a health care professional who, through the use of specialized high-tech equipment and at the direction of a qualified Cardiologist, assists in performing procedures on patients in a surgical environment with the goal of diagnosing and treating heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.
As a member of the cardiac catheterization team, the invasive cardiovascular technologist performs in any one of several roles, such as a surgical scrub assistant, monitoring the patient's condition, or operating specialized equipment and administering medications within the cardiac cath lab. The invasive cardiovascular technologist also works with physicians in the field of interventional cardiology, which attempts to prevent or treat heart attacks by restoring blood flow to diseased areas of the heart.
Procedures routinely performed in cardiac catheterization labs include coronary and cardiac angiography, coronary and peripheral angioplasty (using tiny balloons and stents to open clogged arteries), right heart catheterization (measuring the flow of blood and performing cardiac calculations), electrophysiology procedures (where irregular heartbeats are studied and treated), and implanting permanent pacemakers and defibrillators to correct dangerous arrhythmias of the heart. Invasive CVT's also administer clot dissolving drugs, operate cardiac assist pumps, and assist in other cardiac emergency procedures.
Noninvasive Cardiovascular Technologist:
The non-invasive cardiology technologist is an allied health professional who utilizes ultrasound images for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases. The non-invasive technologist, often referred to as a cardiac ultrasound sonographer, performs an ultrasonic examination for specific disease states ordered by a referring physician. Strong communication skills and logic problem-solving skills are required to analyze procedural findings to the cardiologist. The technologist will systemically assess the anatomical and physiological data with evaluation of the pathology, during the exam, resulting in a diagnostic echocardiogram for the interpreting physician.
The major role of a non-invasive technologist is to apply a strong knowledge base of cardiovascular hemodynamics with a combined ability to obtain high quality ultrasound images of the heart and related structures for a diagnostic examination. The echocardiogram is a technologist dependent exam and requires a highly skilled operator to obtain imaging data adjusting proper instrumentation of the ultrasound equipment. An echocardiogram is an interactive procedure involving the patient, the ultrasound system, the instrumentation (production of images with applied knowledge) and the interpreting cardiologist. Non-invasive technologists will adapt or perform specific protocols to obtain all the images/data based on the pathology to provide a comprehensive and diagnostic echocardiogram.
Several modalities of echocardiography are performed by the technologist such as Two-Dimensional and Doppler echocardiograms. Additionally, 3-Dimensional echocardiography is an emerging imaging modality that is changing the non-invasive field. Other procedures performed in the echocardiography lab are stress or Dobutamine echocardiograms and trans-esophageal echocardiograms. These procedures may also be performed in the cardiac catheterization lab, electrophysiology lab, or the cardiac operating room.
Q: Is there a pay difference between a cardiac catheterization technologist and an echocardiography technologist?
A: The pay scales are essentially the same.
Q: What is the future of this field and what does future employment look like?
A: With all the awareness in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, the field will continue to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statisitics, the field of cardiovascular technology will "grow much faster than average" at a rate of 39% through 2022. Currently, there is a national shortage of trained cardiovascular technology personnel to meet the increasing demand.
Q: Why choose cardiovascular technology as a career?
A: Most of all, it is a career that is extremely rewarding. The opportunity to work one on one with a patient and converse with a cardiologist about the care of the patient is rewarding. You see immediate results of steps taken to better their every day life and can take pride in the fact that you are part of the relationship that makes people's lives better. The camaraderie between the staff and the cardiologists make you an integral part of a patient’s quality well being.
Q: What are the career advances?
A: They are several avenues to pursue. Management, medical applications, medical sales, consulting, and ability to be a traveler to medical centers and hospitals around the country.