The Accelerated Cardiovascular Program is a one-year (three-term) limited admission Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) program. This program is designed to provide the opportunity for select, currently licensed health science employees to cross-train in the field of invasive cardiology. Upon completion, graduates from this program may seek employment in hospital catheterization labs as Cardiovascular Technologists who are trained to assist physicians during diagnostic and interventional cardiac and peripheral arterial catheterizations.
An applicant applying for this program must be a graduate from an accredited health science program with an associate's degree in Radiography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Respiratory Therapy, or Nursing, and hold current national certification/licensure in the field from which he or she graduated. The applicant must also be currently employed in direct patient care in one of the fields listed above for a minimum of six months. The allied health degree program must have included college-level coursework in Anatomy and Physiology; if it did not, the applicant must complete this coursework prior to admission to the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program. The accelerated track consists of core courses specific to invasive cardiology (32 credit hours) including three clinical rotations at multiple affiliate partners (800 clinical hours).
Applicants who complete the accelerated program are eligible to sit for the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) registry. Active Registered Radiologic Technologists who graduate from the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program have the option to sit for both the CCI exam for RCIS credentialing and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam for Cardiac Intervention (CI) credentialing.
Currently, these registries are not required for employment in the catheterization lab; however, the trend is to hire personnel in cardiac critical-care areas with one or both of the listed registries (CCIs with RCIS credentialing, or ARRT with CI credentialing). Responsibility for applying for and completing the registry application, including associated fees, rests with the graduate.
The following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program:
1. Acceptance to Polk State College with all required admission documents received by the Registrar, including receipt of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions and a copy of current national licensure/certification.
2. Completion of one of the listed associate degree programs from an accredited institution.
3. Current employment (minimum of six months) in one of the stipulated health science occupations.
4. Completion of an associate degree program with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.*
5. Attendance at a scheduled meeting with the Program Director to review and discuss the program application and additional program requirements.
6. Receipt of a completed Cardiovascular Technology Program Application.
*If the final GPA is less than 2.5, the applicant is required to submit a letter of recommendation on the institution's letterhead from the current program manager to be considered for admission to the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program.
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
These additional admission requirements are to be completed after acceptance into the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program under the guidance of the Program Director:
- Obtain a complete medical physical.
- Complete all Immunization Records and a Communicable Disease Screening.
- Obtain a Ten-Panel Drug Screening.
- Submit a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) background check.
- Provide a signed Affidavit of Moral Character attesting to the non-committance of specific criminal acts.
- Provide proof of current Healthcare Provider CPR certification.
The Program Director provides information regarding the completion of these additional admission requirements with the letter of acceptance to each student.
Applicants applying for this program must be graduates from an accredited allied health program with an associate’s degree in Radiography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Respiratory Therapy, or Nursing, and must be currently employed in direct patient care in one of the fields listed above. The allied health degree program must have included college-level coursework in Anatomy and Physiology; if it did not, the applicant must complete this coursework prior to admission to the Accelerated Cardiovascular Program.