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. The program graduate is eligible to sit for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) credential. The RCIS serves as a vital member of a cardiac catheterization team. The primary role of an RCIS is to assist the physician during diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures, monitor the 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 12 percent through 2029 (Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2020 Edition).
A graduate from the Cardiovascular Technology Program can seek employment in a hospital cardiac catheterization lab, outpatient cardiovascular lab, traveling agency, or other industry-related facility in Florida or throughout the country. An entry-level technologist can expect to make approximately $50,330 annually. This pay is based on a 40-hour workweek and has the potential to increase with on-call pay and shift differential. The program graduate is eligible to take the national boards administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) designation.
The Cardiovascular Technology Program is a limited-admission 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).
Admission to the Cardiovascular Technology Program has several minimum requirements. The student must:
- Gain acceptance to Polk State College as credit-seeking student with all required admission documents received by the Registrar's Office.
- Complete any admission testing (if required) and any required Developmental Education courses.
- Earn an overall GPA of 2.5 (or higher) at the time of application and admission to the program.
- Provide evidence of current American Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification.
- Provide a copy of a valid state driver's license.
- Complete the following prerequisite courses (prior to admission in the program) with a grade of C or better:
The program prerequisites and General Education courses taken prior to admission may change. A student who has not yet been admitted to the program may be required to take additional or alternate prerequisites. The Program Director can provide more information about prerequisite requirements.
Additional Program Requirements
The Program Director provides information regarding the completion of the following additional admission requirements with a letter to each student once he or she is 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 check and sexual predator check.
A program application may be downloaded from the program webpage (http://www.polk.edu/cardiovascular-technology/). The completed application and all required paperwork must be signed and verified with an official College stamp by an 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 the June 30 deadline. Once the application is verified by an advisor, the endorsed application packet is 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 (two maximum), and current American Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification. A notice of acceptance is mailed to each student 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 Advanced Cardiac Life Support (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, the graduate is eligible to take the national registry exam administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate earns the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) credential.
A Radiological Technologist 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 an RT(R) (CI). If the graduate opts to take both registries, he or she can receive the RT(R) (CI), RCIS credential.
Each student is encouraged to add appropriate electives to the program courses as his or her schedule permits. 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 the student to enter the health sciences workforce and act as additional preparation for the national registries.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is able to:
PLO 1: Apply basic patient care skills to pre-, intra-, and post-operative procedures in the cardiovascular lab.
PLO 2: Demonstrate technical abilities and skills needed to assist physicians during diagnostic and interventional cardiac and peripheral procedures in the catheterization lab.
PLO 3: Differentiate between normal versus abnormal pathological processes as these relate to procedures in the cardiovascular lab.
PLO 4: Apply critical-thinking skills, to include advanced cardiac life support algorithms, as these apply to the cardiovascular procedures performed in the catheterization lab.