Catheterization laboratory technicians, or cath lab techs, are allied health professionals who specialize in cardiovascular technology at medical facilities that run tests to determine heart health. Cath lab techs are a vital part of the medical team and often assist doctors with non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular procedures. They’re also among the highest paid allied health professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of cardiovascular technicians to increase 5% between 2019 and 2029.
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Cath Lab Tech FAQs
What are the best agencies for Cath Lab Tech jobs?
The agencies on Vivian that currently have the most Cath Lab Tech jobs are MedPro Healthcare Allied Staffing (126), Med Travelers (115), and Club Staffing (115).
How Much Do Cath Lab Tech Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on Vivian as of Sunday, May 9th 2021, the average weekly salary for a Cardiac Catheterization Technologist is $2,060, but can pay up to $3,500 per week.
- min - $1,116
- avg - $2,060
- max - $3,500
What does a Cath Lab tech do?
Cath lab techs primarily perform cardiac catheterizations, which involves threading a catheter through a patient’s blood vessel to reach the heart and determine whether blockages exist. With a cardiac catheter in place, techs can perform several tests to see how well the heart is working. Other responsibilities of a cath lab tech include:
Preparing patients for procedures by cleaning and shaving insertion sites
Operating and maintaining machines used in catheterization procedures
Monitoring patients’ heart rates and other vital signs
Providing emergency care for life-threatening reactions
Evaluating test results for abnormalities
Reporting abnormalities to the cardiologist
In some medical facilities, cath lab techs may assist doctors with open heart surgeries and other procedures, such as angioplasty and stent or pacemaker insertions.
Where do Cath Lab techs work?
Cath lab techs primarily work in hospitals within cardiac catheter laboratories. They may also work in outpatient cardiology centers and private practice clinics, physician’s offices, and laboratories.
What skills make a good Cath Lab tech?
Proficient cath lab techs have comprehensive knowledge of heart catheterization procedures, pacemaker implantation, and human anatomy, especially the cardiovascular system. They have extensive technical skills that allow them to operate specialized medical equipment and computer programs. Their patient care and interpersonal skills give them the ability to keep patients calm and comfortable throughout their procedures. Good cath lab techs also are detail-oriented and have the communication skills to effectively explain complicated procedures in simple terms.
How to become a Travel Cath Lab Tech?
To pursue a career as a travel cath lab tech, individuals earn an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree through a cardiovascular technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. It’s recommended to earn Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist credentialing through Cardiovascular Credentialing International, since employers often require certification. Other certifications commonly required include Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and Cardiovascular Technician Certification. Travel positions typically require recent cath lab tech experience.