Invasive Cardiovascular Specialist / Cardiac Cath Lab 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 is trained to perform in 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 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 cardiovascular technologists may also administer clot dissolving drugs, operate cardiac assist pumps, and assist in other cardiac emergency procedures.