nrse checking patient's heart with stethoscope

Celebrating Cardiovascular Professionals

CVP Week is Feb. 12-18, 2017

February is American Heart Month, which is not only a great time to raise awareness of heart disease, but also a great time to celebrate the cardiovascular professionals who help diagnose and treat heart conditions. Luckily, they have a week that’s all their own.

Cardiovascular Professionals Week (CVP Week 2017), February 12-18, is sponsored by the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals. This year’s theme is “Cardiovascular Professionals Get to the Heart of the Matter.”

AMN Healthcare is pleased to honor these caring and hardworking professionals during CVP Week, and throughout the year.

Patients and healthcare providers rely on cardiovascular technologists, sonographers, cath lab techs and other professionals as key members of the medical team, working alongside physicians and nurses.

“Cardiovascular professionals provide an important service in the healthcare community,” said Peggy McElgunn, executive director of the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals.

Cardiovascular sonographer Joleen Duarte Rodriguez, MHA, RDCS, RVT, a supervisor at Pacific Medical Centers Cardiology Department, headquartered in Seattle, and cath lab tech Jaromir “Jeremy” Bobek, at Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, agree. Each provides vital services to patients.

Involved with diagnosis and care

Rodriguez said she finds her career rewarding. There’s a “sense of ownership and accomplishment – pride in our work,” said Rodriguez, adding that she likes “seeing patients improve over time and being a part of their care.”

Rodriguez and her PacMed imaging team perform exams, complete preliminary reports and discuss pertinent findings, if any, with the interpreting physician.

“I really like how involved sonographers are in the process to diagnosing disease,” Rodriguez said. “In fact, at PacMed, the sonographers work very closely with the physicians on cases. Sonographers also complete preliminary reports for every exam, so sonographers typically solve the ‘puzzle’ of a symptom and know what the problem is before the cardiologist.”

Teamwork at the heart of cardiac care

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals indicates that teamwork, outcomes, patient satisfaction, and quality care are the “heart of the matter,” with patients relying on many different health care professionals — from sonographers to cardiovascular technologists and cath lab techs — who provide the best care possible.

In addition to physicians, Rodriguez works closely with cardiology nurses on stress tests.

“This team effort and process elevates the profession of sonography, as well as ensures the cardiologist has all the most accurate and comprehensive data, not just images, needed to ensure quality health care services,” Rodriguez continued.

Bobek also loves his career choice. As a cardiovascular technologist and an invasive specialist, he lays out essential supply trays and turns on cardiac monitors, computers and imaging equipment in the catheterization lab. This preparation and attention to detail have helped the hospital earn national recognition for its care of ST‐elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) cases and has helped save patients’ lives.

The profession of cardiovascular sonographer has been elevated from “picture taker” to “discoverer,” said Rodriguez. As a manager, she also participates in PacMed’s CV Lab’s quality improvement program and checks the quality of sonographic exams. Patients with difficult anatomy or difficult-to-image anatomy present challenges.

The job requires “lots of customer service and bedside manner skills,” she added. Advancement opportunities into administrative and managerial roles are also available.

Jobs for allied cardiovascular professionals are expected to stay in demand, due to the country’s aging population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts cardiovascular technologist jobs and cath lab tech jobs will grow 24 percent between 2014 and 2024, much faster than most occupations.

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Travel career options

Cardiovascular professionals can find a wide variety of career options across the county, including allied travel jobs.

Travel jobs allow techs and imaging professionals to explore the country while gaining experience at top facilities. Assignments typically range from 8-13 weeks or longer, and travelers enjoy free housing, health insurance options and many additional benefits.

FIND your ideal travel job with AMN Healthcare, or sign up for job alerts in your discipline.

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