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Cardiovascular Field - Invasive and Non-Invasive

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About the Cardiovascular Field
The Cardiovascular field is a high-tech medical field where technologists and nurses assist cardiologists to diagnose and treat heart disease. Within cardiovascular technology there are two specialties: invasive and noninvasive. Each specialty has a related RCVT exam.

What is Heart Catheterization?
Cath Lab

Cardiovascular Catheterization is a minimally invasive method for diagnosing and treating patients in "Cath Labs". Here, catheters are inserted percutaneously through blood vessels to diagnose and treat many types of cardiac and vascular diseases. The invasive Cardiovascular catheterization field has many sub-specialties, each led by a physician specialists.

  1. Interventional Cardiologists mainly work on coronary heart disease. They use balloon catheters to place coronary stents and treat heart attacks. They also work on "structural heart diseases" that usually involves placing a device in the heart via a catheter.
  2. Interventional Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons work together in "Hybrid Cath labs" where surgical access may be needed. They place heart valves Cath Lab and other more invasive devices.
  3. Electrophsiologists use cath labs to treat arrhythmias and place pacemakers.
  4. Pediatric Cardiologists use cath labs to treat infants and children with congenital heart diseases mostly by repairing holes in their heart.
  5. Interventional Radiologists use catheters to treat peripheral vascular diseases and diseases in other parts of the body, like the brain, liver and aorta.

There are a few small cath labs that do all the above, but most large hospitals have several specialty cath labs each tailored to the needs of that specialty: Coronary lab, Hybrid lab, EP lab, Pediatric lab, and IR lab.

Besides the lead physician, cath labs employ nurses, X-ray techs, and CV techs. to set up the patient, give medications, run equipment, and assist the physician put in and direct the catheter. This is a very high tech but rewarding career often treating very sick patients.



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Phone: 509.926.0344
Email: info@WesTodd.com
Wes Todd, BS, RCIS.
Cardiac Self Assessment
S. 1605 Clinton Rd.
Spokane Valley, WA 99216-0420



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