(Clinical Measurement Technician, Cardiac Technician, Cardiac Scientist)
Assisting during a cardiac procedure
Cardiac technologists provide technical services for the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
As part of the cardiology team, cardiac technologists operate a range of specialist equipment, which provides data that cardiologists and other medical practitioners use for patient care.
Duties and Tasks
Cardiac technologists may perform the following tasks:
- electrocardiography (ECG) - recording the electrical activity of the heart, from which the heart rate is measured and its pattern and rhythm are interpreted
- ambulatory monitoring - fitting a portable ECG monitor to record the ECG over a 24-hour period, and replaying and analysing the tape on a computerised system
- exercise ECG stress testing - assessing a patient's cardiac response to exercise using a treadmill or stationary bicycle and ECG recording
- pacemaker implant testing - testing and, if necessary, reprogramming implanted cardiac pacemakers with computerised equipment
- cardiac catheterisation - monitoring and recording ECG and blood pressure data during interventional procedures
- electrophysiology studies - using computerised systems to record ECG data from within the heart in order to diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms
- echocardiography - operating ultrasound equipment to scan the heart from the chest wall, obtaining and measuring images of the heart to assess blood flow and valve abnormalities
- cardiac research - studying the effects of cardiovascular drugs and diseases using many of the above techniques.
School subjects that include some aspect of BIOLOGY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a biology-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of COMPUTING STUDIES provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a computer studies-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of physical education provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a physical education subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
Use of precision or semi-precision tools or instruments or deft hand movements are required for these occupations. Included are jobs where poor co-ordination or incomplete use of hands or fingers may make tasks dangerous or difficult to undertake.
These jobs require you to be able to see clearly to examine items close-up. It covers jobs where poor vision e.g. tunnel vision, could make the work place unsafe or the job difficult to undertake, e.g. draftsperson working with detailed drawings; checkout operator reading dockets; work requiring good hand-eye co-ordination for working with precision or semi-precision tools.
Workers performing these jobs would usually be expected to spend more than three-quarters of their day indoors, in an office, factory or other enclosed area protected from the weather.
These jobs require moderate or better reading and writing skills. Workers may be expected to prepare, understand or act on written materials, such as letters or reports. People may wish to avoid these jobs if their reading or writing English skills are limited to a small range of words or phrases and symbols. Jobs remaining may still require very basic reading or writing skills.
Included are jobs providing health care diagnosis and treatment, such as general medicine, pharmacy, optometry, radiography, speech therapy, dental health, etc. Also covered are community and welfare services, such as social work, family and children services, and counselling, and personal services such as hairdressing and funeral services.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH IDEAS to investigate or seek solutions to scientific, technical, social or other issues. Activities include observing, researching, analysing and interpreting results. The ability to develop theories, apply logic and explore abstract ideas in a specialist area of knowledge is important.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH PEOPLE, to help, inform, teach or treat them. Activities include discussing personal issues, listening to people's problems, and providing advice, instruction, information or treatment to meet their needs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH THINGS, using the hands, or special tools or equipment to make, fix, install or adjust them. Activities include doing practical and physical tasks, and may require an understanding of how equipment or machinery works.
Jobs in this group usually require completion of a recognised Bachelor Degree, or extensive relevant experience. Some jobs also require post-graduate study, such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master Degree.
Cardiac technologists may be required to be on call.
- careful and analytical approach to work
- sympathetic, supportive and professional approach to patients
- ability to follow safety guidelines
- good communication skills
- commitment to ongoing professional development
- able to work as part of a team.
Monitoring cardiac activity via computer