Cardiovascular Professionals at the Heart of Healthcare

Cardiovascular professionalsCelebrating CVP Week 2017

By Debra Wood, RN, contributor

Patients and healthcare providers rely on cardiovascular technologists, sonographers, cath lab techs and other professionals for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and other heart-related conditions.

They are a key part of the medical team, and Club Staffing is pleased to celebrate them during Cardiovascular Professionals Week (CVP Week), and throughout the year.

CVP Week 2017 takes place February 12-18, and is sponsored by the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals. This year’s theme is “Cardiovascular Professionals Get to the Heart of the Matter.”

[FIND  cardiovascular tech, cath lab tech, and sonographer travel jobs.]

“Cardiovascular professionals provide an important service in the healthcare community,” said Peggy McElgunn, executive director of the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals. 

Cardiovascular sonographer Joleen Duarte Rodriguez, MHA, RDCS, RVT, a supervisor at Pacific Medical Centers Cardiology Department, headquartered in Seattle, and cath lab tech Jaromir “Jeremy” Bobek, at Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, agree. Each provide vital services to patients.

Bridging diagnosis and care

Rodriguez said she finds her career rewarding. There’s a “sense of ownership and accomplishment – pride in our work,” said Rodriguez, adding that she likes “seeing patients improve over time and being a part of their care.” 

Rodriguez and her PacMed imaging team perform exams, complete preliminary reports and discuss pertinent findings, if any, with the interpreting physician.

“I really like how involved sonographers are in the process to diagnosing disease,” Rodriguez said. “In fact, at PacMed, the sonographers work very closely with the physicians on cases. Sonographers also complete preliminary reports for every exam, so sonographers typically solve the ‘puzzle’ of a symptom and know what the problem is before the cardiologist.” 

Vital team members

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals indicates that teamwork, outcomes, patient satisfaction, and quality care are the “heart of the matter,” with patients relying on many different health care professionals — from sonographers to cardiovascular technologists and cath lab techs — who provide the best care possible. 

In addition to physicians, Rodriguez works closes with cardiology nurses on stress tests. 

“This team effort and process elevates the profession of sonography, as well as, ensures the cardiologist has all the most accurate and comprehensive data, not just images, needed to ensure quality health care services,” Rodriguez continued.

Bobek also loves his career choice. As a cardiovascular technologist and an invasive specialist, he lays out essential supply trays and turns on cardiac monitors, computers and imaging equipment in the catheterization lab. This preparation and attention to detail has helped the hospital earn national recognition for its care of ST‐elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) cases and has helped save patients’ lives. 

The profession of cardiovascular sonographer has been elevated from “picture taker” to “discoverer,” said Rodriguez. As a manager, she also participates in PacMed’s CV Lab’s quality improvement program and checks the quality of sonographic exams. Patients with difficult anatomy or difficult-to-image anatomy present challenges. 

The job requires “lots of customer service and bedside manner skills,” she added. Advancement opportunities into administrative and managerial roles are also available.

Allied cardiovascular professionals are in demand and are expected to remain in demand due to the country’s aging population. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts cardiovascular technologist jobs and cath lab tech jobs will grow 24 percent between 2014 and 2024, much faster than most occupations. 

Allied travel opportunities

There are plenty of openings available now for cardiovascular professionals, including allied travel jobs that usually range from 8-13 weeks or longer.

Cardiovascular professionals need not be tied down to one location, but can find dozens of openings everywhere from California to Florida, Texas to Alaska. Allied travel jobs allow techs and imaging professionals to explore the country while learning new methods of doing things and experiencing professional growth.

FIND your ideal travel job with Club Staffing, or sign up for job alerts in your discipline.

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