The Cardiovascular Technology Program fosters creative, positive learning experiences within an atmosphere of academic excellence and continuous improvement. The curriculum provides access to the information and skills needed to excel within the diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular technology fields.
The Cardiovascular Technology Program provides an organized curriculum that includes required General Education classes in addition to the required core classes for the invasive cardiovascular curriculum. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) credential. The RCIS is a vital member of cardiac catheterization and peripheral vascular teams. His/her primary role is to assist physicians during diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures, monitor a patient's hemodynamic status during the procedures, and operate specialized imaging equipment with consideration to radiation dose and safety.
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 approximately 17 percent through 2026 (Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition).
Graduates from the Cardiovascular Technology Program can seek employment in hospital cardiac catheterization labs, outpatient cardiovascular labs, traveling agencies, and other industry-related facilities in Florida and throughout the country. Entry-level technologists can expect to make approximately $48,000 annually. This pay is based on a 40-hour workweek and has the potential to increase with on-call pay and shift differential. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national boards administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) credential.
The Cardiovascular Technology Program is a limited admission allied health science program. The program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT).
The following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Cardiovascular Technology Program:
- Prospective students must gain acceptance to Polk State College as credit-seeking students with all required admission documents received by the Registrar's Office.
- Students must complete any admission testing (if required) and any required Developmental Education courses.
- Students must have an overall GPA of 2.5 (or higher) at the time of application and admission to the program.
- Evidence of current American Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification must be provided.
- The following prerequisite courses must be completed (prior to admission in the program) with a grade of C or higher:
The program prerequisites and General Education courses taken prior to admission may change. Students not yet admitted may be required to take additional or alternate prerequisites. Students should contact the Program Director for more information.
Additional Program Requirements
The Program Director provides information regarding the completion of the following additional admission requirements with the letter to students once they are accepted into the program:
- Completion of a medical physical.
- Submission of immunization records and communicable disease screenings with documentation verifying current titer levels for the required immunizations.
- Completion of a ten-panel drug screening.
- Provision of a signed Affidavit of Moral Character attesting to the non-committal of specific criminal acts.
- Completion of a federal background and sexual predator check.
Program applications may be downloaded from the program webpage at: http://www.polk.edu/cardiovascular-technology/. All completed applications and required paperwork must be signed and verified with an official College stamp by the academic advisor no later than June 30 annually. If the application deadline falls on a weekend, the application must be submitted the Friday prior to June 30. Once the application is verified by an advisor, the endorsed application packet will be forwarded to the program director for processing.
A selection committee reviews all completed applications and 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 American Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Notices of acceptance are mailed to students no later than July 15.
Polk State College reserves the right to make changes to the admission criteria as circumstances require. Every reasonable effort is made to communicate changes in the program to potential students.
The cost of the two-year program is approximately $11,000. This cost includes all course fees and tuition, books, uniforms, related healthcare requirement fees, lab fees, national registry fees, and ACLS certification cost. This figure does not include fees for any assessment tests, Developmental Education courses, or transportation fees associated with attending clinical rotations.
Following the completion of all requirements for graduation from the Cardiovascular Technology Program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national registry exam administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate earns the credentials of Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS).
A Radiological Technologists has the option to sit for the registry administered by CCI and the registry administered by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists (ARRT) for Cardiac Intervention (CI). After successful exam completion, the graduate earns additional credentials and is listed as RT(R) (CI). If the graduate opts to take both registries, he or she can receive the RT(R) (CI), RCIS credential.
Students are encouraged to add appropriate electives to their program courses as their schedules permit. Electives in areas such as computer technology, human relations, chemistry, microbiology, or other health sciences are pertinent to careers in Cardiovascular Technology. While these courses are not required, they serve to prepare students to enter the allied health workforce and act as additional preparation for the national registries.