Schools for Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists
Cardiovascular invasive specialists assist doctors with invasive heart procedures and tests. There is a certification exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) to become a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist (RCIS). Individuals with the appropriate work experience or education may earn this certification. Qualifications for the examination are available at the official CCI website.
How to Select a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist School
While it is not required by law, most employers prefer or require candidates to complete certification. Students may qualify to become registered cardiovascular invasive specialists through CCI by completing a number of programs, including health science, engineering or nursing, with a focus in an area such as cardiovascular technology, invasive cardiology or vascular technology. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are more widely available in an invasive cardiovascular specialty and may be preferable to programs in general cardiovascular technology.
Certificate programs are commonly offered as continuing education options and could be preferable to students with work experience or who hold an associate's or bachelor's degree and are in need of specialization. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs can qualify graduates to enter directly into the field. Bachelor's degree programs typically offer more extensive clinical experiences and a broader range of coursework.
Beyond invasive cardiovascular technology, there are multiple opportunities for specialization through courses in fetal, pediatric and adult echocardiography. Students may also enroll in programs that include courses, educational tracks or clinical experiences in vascular technology. Experience or certification in additional aspects of the field could be professionally beneficial.
Distance education options through online courses and lectures may be available at some schools, particularly in programs designed as continuing education experiences for employed students, such as certificate and bachelor's degree programs. Students should keep in mind that some courses, as well as hands-on clinical experiences, typically require physical attendance.
Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Program Overviews
Certificate in Cardiovascular Technology
Certificate programs in cardiovascular technology rarely offer an invasive specialization but can still qualify students for RCIS certification. These programs may take two or more years to complete, including coursework and clinical experiences. Courses in cardiovascular and vascular sonography, analysis of diseases and disorders, medical devices, pathophysiology and instrumentation are common.
Associate's Degree in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology
Associate's degree programs in invasive cardiovascular technology include coursework and clinical experiences in techniques such as catheterization, electrophysiology, cardiac pacing, angiography and heart disease. Due to required general education courses and medical courses such as anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, students may transfer easily from associate's degree programs to bachelor's degree programs.
Bachelor's Degree in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology
Bachelor's degree programs can be completed in four years. They include general education courses and clinical experiences. They also commonly require internships. Courses at this level are commonly broader in range, including echocardiography, non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular techniques, vascular technology and other principles of medical imaging. A senior project may also be mandatory for completion.
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