The passion Taryn Rowland has for being a Cardiology Technologist is evident in every aspect of her being. Settling in for her interview, an anatomically correct model heart sits just over her shoulder. Cardiology departments across the country have a reputation for kindness and Taryn lives up to that. She smiles as she says, “I am very passionate about the heart. The science, anatomy, what it does for us, and what it represents.”
When Taryn graduated with her bachelor degree in kinesiology, she didn’t know her next step. “A lot of graduates struggle with what comes next. There’s not a clear career path forward.”
She began with supporting older adults living with chronic diseases participate in exercise programs, and later started another position supervising recreation programs. While rewarding, it wasn’t Taryn’s passion. When the pandemic hit, she decided to change her life to make her heart happy. “I realized that while recreation is important, I had moved away from what I was passionate about. I wanted to get back into healthcare and effect positive change in a different way.”
I am very passionate about the heart. The science, anatomy, what it does for us, and what it represents.
BEATING A NEW PATH
Remembering her Cardiac Rehab practicum during her kinesiology degree, Taryn recalled an interest in electrocardiograms (ECGs) and the heart. “We were introduced to ECG interpretation. That was my first experience with cardiology.”
Taryn decided to research schools with a Cardiology Technologist program, a career she knew she’d love. “I had stumbled upon Stenberg College years before and knew the program ran across Canada. I did some research and applied. It was a whirlwind when I got my acceptance email. I was so excited!”
Online learning was different to what Taryn had experienced previously. “Being online was a learning curve. My kinesiology degree was in person. This program was different, but I liked interacting with my classmates in forums and weekly sessions.”
She found the structure of the Stenberg program supportive and built for student success. “I loved how classes were organized. We focused on one course at a time. Knowing that building a foundation early would help me grow my knowledge later was helpful.”
Putting all the pieces together in lab made it feel real.
ECHOING ACROSS CANADA
Excelling in her program, Taryn’s intelligence and passion was felt across the country. Instructor Jonathan Aquino says, “Taryn and I have never met in person, yet her commitment to academic excellence, contagious fascination for cardiology, and exceptional work ethic echoed across the provinces. Her curiosity and devotion to understand the underlying mechanisms that govern medicine and technology is remarkable.”
Bringing her online learning into practice during labs was a highlight for Taryn. “Putting all the pieces together in lab made it feel real. Meeting my classmates and professionals in the industry was great. I found their different perspectives and experiences so valuable.”
As Taryn puts it, if labs were a highlight, then her practicum was the star of the show. “Practicum allowed me to synthesize everything I learned into real world practice. Working with professionals in the field and learning different techniques helped me add to my toolkit.” Taryn achieved an incredible 98% grade point average in the Cardiology Technologist program.
MINUTES THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Taryn reflects back to the moment she knew she had picked the right career, it was during her practicum: “We were in emergency, and a patient wearing a CPR machine called LUCAS came in.
My supervisor had warned me it would be intense. I was grateful for her guidance. She hooked up the ECG on one side, and I did the other. Surrounded by medical professionals from all departments, everyone was focused on saving this person’s life. Even though it was a high stress situation, I was calm. I knew what I needed to do, I did it, and gave my interpretation to the doctor. It all happened in the span of two minutes. But it really sunk in that seconds make a difference whether a patient lives or dies. I’m a piece of that puzzle. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the gravity of that situation. For the rest of my practicum, I felt like I was building on that moment. I want to be there to help my patients.”
After graduating, Taryn worked full-time for a month in Regina. However, home is Saskatoon with the love of her life, Justin. Now taking shifts at her local hospital, Taryn is excited for what the future holds. “There are so many opportunities in the realm of cardiology technology. There is always more to learn.” A self-described life-long learner, there is no doubt Taryn will continue to grow her knowledge and career. She certainly has the heart for it.
There are so many opportunities in the realm of cardiology technology. There is always more to learn.