The Cardiovascular Technology Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) Program is a four-term, limited-admission certificate program that begins each fall term. This ATC Program provides core courses specific to invasive cardiology (36 credits), and includes four clinical rotations at multiple affiliate facilities (984 clinical hours).
Program applicants must be graduates of accredited health science programs who have earned the Associate in Science degree in Radiography, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, or Diagnostic Medical Sonography. In addition, applicants must be currently employed in one of the listed medical modalities for a minimum of six months.
Upon completion, graduates from this program may seek employment in hospital cardiac catheterization labs as invasive cardiovascular technologists performing diagnostic and interventional cardiac and peripheral arterial catheterizations. An invasive cardiovascular technologist assists physicians during diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures, monitors patients' hemodynamic status during procedures, and operates specialized imaging equipment with consideration to radiation dose and safety.
Invasive cardiovascular technology is a highly skilled, fast-paced specialty requiring critical thinking vital to patients' diagnoses and treatments for coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment for cardiovascular technologists is expected to grow by 30 percent between 2012 and 2022 (Occupational Outlook Handbook "Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists: Job Outlook," 2012).
Applicants who complete this certificate program are eligible to sit for the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) exam. Active members of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) who graduate from this certificate program have the option to sit for both the CCI exam (for the RCIS designation) and ARRT exam (for the Cardiac Intervention (CI) designation). Currently, these registries are not required for employment in the cardiac catheterization lab; however, the trend is to hire personnel in cardiac critical care areas with one or both of these credentials.
The following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Cardiovascular Technology ATC Program:
- Prospective students must gain acceptance to Polk State College with all required admission documents received by the Registrar's Office (including receipt of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions).
- Students must provide evidence of completion of one of the stipulated associate degree programs.
- Proof of current national licensure and/or certification must be provided.
- A letter of reference or recommendation must be submitted.
- Students must show verification of current employment in a related health science field for a minimum of six months.
- Students must show proof of an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher in an accredited AS degree program.
- Evidence of current American Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification must be provided.
- A meeting with the Program Director is scheduled to receive and discuss the program application and additional program requirements.
- The Cardiovascular Technology ATC Program Application must be completed.
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
The Program Director provides information regarding the completion of the following additional admission requirements in a letter once students accepted into the program:
- Completion of a medical physical exam.
- Submission of immunization records and communicable disease screening records, including documentation of current titer levels for the required immunizations.
- Completion of a ten-panel drug screening.
- Completion of Federal background and sex offender background checks.
- Receipt of a signed Affidavit of Moral Character attesting that specific criminal acts have not been committed.
Students seeking admission into the Cardiovascular Technology ATC Program must obtain the program application during the mandatory, pre-admission meeting with the Program Director prior to the application deadline of April 30. If the application deadline falls on a weekend, the application must be submitted the Friday prior to April 30. No meetings with the Program Director are scheduled on the day of the application deadline. All completed applications and required paperwork must be signed and verified with an official College stamp by an academic advisor and submitted by the deadline.
A selection committee reviews all applications for both the Cardiovascular Technology ATC and AS programs; it ranks candidates utilizing the following criteria: overall college grade point average, grades received for prerequisite courses completed, grades received for General Education courses completed, prior healthcare experience related to the field of study, previous degrees awarded or approved health-related certifications, and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Notices of acceptance are mailed to students before the end of May.
Polk State College reserves the right to make changes in the admission criteria as circumstances require. Every reasonable effort is made to communicate changes to potential students.
The cost of the Cardiovascular Technology ATC Program is approximately $5,800. This cost includes all in-state course fees and tuition, books, uniforms, lab fees, related healthcare fees, and national registry fees. This cost does not include fees for assessment tests, Development Education courses, registry preparation, transportation fees associated with attending clinical rotations, or out-of-state fees and tuition.