Most Important Skills Needed to Be a Cardiovascular Technician

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Liz Simmons is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience. She specializes in higher education, history, and culture. Liz holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado and master's degrees in urban studies and library and infor...
Updated on May 13, 2022
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  • Cardiovascular technicians conduct tests and monitor patients for heart-related issues.
  • They need to be comfortable using medical equipment and interpreting diagnostic images.
  • Key soft skills for these technicians include communication, empathy, and attention to detail.
  • Most cardiovascular technicians need an associate degree and a professional certification.

Cardiovascular technicians work as part of a healthcare team to help patients before, during, and after medical procedures related to the heart. They create images for cardiologists, perform diagnostic tests, and prepare patients for procedures. These technicians also monitor a patient's blood pressure and heart rate during procedures.

Cardiovascular technicians help perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, and lung capacity tests.

Read on to learn the most important skills needed to be a cardiovascular technician.

Top Skills for Cardiovascular Technicians

Good Understanding of Human Anatomy

Becoming a cardiovascular technician requires knowledge of the structure and anatomy of the human body, especially the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular technicians need to understand the heart's components and how its chambers function.

This familiarity with anatomy helps cardiovascular technicians understand how to interpret what they see when running tests and creating images for cardiologists.

Comfortable With Medical Equipment

A cardiovascular technician uses medical equipment to create images and run tests on a patient's heart and lungs. These professionals use ultrasound imaging equipment like EKG machines to assess how well a patient's heart works when at rest and during physical activity.

Cardiovascular technicians also prepare and maintain medical equipment and make sure everything is operating correctly.

Ability to Interpret Diagnostic Imaging

A big part of a cardiovascular technician's job includes running diagnostic tests. They need to know the difference between a normal and abnormal image. They also need to be able to describe their findings to a physician, other medical workers, and the patient.

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Soft Skills for Cardiovascular Technicians

Soft skills refer to personal attributes and how a person works and interacts with others. Below are some of the top soft skills needed to be a cardiovascular technician.

Communication Skills

Cardiovascular technicians work with physicians, other healthcare workers, and patients. They need to be able to listen, understand instructions, and ask clarifying questions to help ensure patient safety. They shouldn't be afraid to speak up when necessary.

Cardiovascular technicians prepare patients for tests and other procedures by taking their medical history. They also answer a patient's questions and explain procedures. Clear communication is key for these responsibilities.


Cardiovascular technicians work with patients who may feel stressed, scared, anxious, or confused. Empathizing with patients can help cardiovascular technicians provide comfort to patients and build trust. Empathy can also help ensure effective, two-way communication between patients and healthcare workers.

Attention to Detail

Cardiovascular technicians must carefully follow detailed instructions when performing diagnostic tests and using medical equipment. A lack of attention to detail can cause mistakes that could have a negative impact on patients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiovascular Technicians

What does a cardiovascular technician do?

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Cardiovascular technicians assist physicians in making sure a patient's heart is working properly. They perform diagnostic tests and EKGs. They also prepare and monitor patients before, during, and after heart surgeries and other procedures.

Is cardiovascular technician a good career?

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Yes. Becoming a cardiovascular technician can be a good career choice with a competitive salary and room to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that cardiovascular technicians made a median annual salary of $59,100 as of May 2020. This is more than the median yearly wage for all U.S. occupations of $41,950.

How can I become a cardiovascular technician?

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Cardiovascular technicians usually earn a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor's degree in cardiovascular technology. Students take classes in medical terminology, human anatomy, physiology, and patient care. Many employers prefer job applicants with a degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Typically, cardiovascular technicians must earn professional certification.

What is the difference between a cardiovascular technician and technologist?

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Cardiovascular technicians and cardiovascular technologists both help keep patients' hearts working properly. Cardiovascular technicians typically specialize in EKG testing. Cardiovascular technicians often earn an associate degree or certificate. Cardiovascular technologists help perform cardiac catheterization and prepare patients for heart surgery and other medical procedures. Cardiovascular technologists usually hold an associate or bachelor's degree.

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