Cardiac care technology measures how well a patient's heart is functioning. Cardiac care technicians are the medical professionals who administer these tests.
Cardiac care technicians assist physicians during invasive cardiovascular testing, where a tube is inserted into one of the blood vessels that carry blood into the heart. The primary job of a technician is to perform tasks that require less medical training so doctors can focus on the results of the test.
Cardiac care technicians prepare patients before procedures, and administer local anesthetics. Once doctors insert the catheter, technicians monitor patients' heart rates and blood pressure, looking for any signs of trouble or distress.
Most employers prefer to hire cardiac care technicians with a minimum of a two-year associate's degree in cardiovascular technology. A number of colleges and universities also offer four-year bachelor's degrees in the field.
Although certification for cardiac care technicians is voluntary, most employers only will hire applicants with credentials from Cardiovascular Credentialing International. The certification requires technicians to pass a written examination.
As of 2013, cardiac care technicians averaged annual salaries of $53,990, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.