After finishing my first month of Cardio Tech clinical all I can say is, “Wow! I’m so happy I picked this career.” So far, I’ve had two weeks of day shifts doing stress testing, appointment electrocardiograms (ECGs) and another two weeks of night shifts doing Holter Scanning and emergency ECGs. In the first two weeks, I learned a lot about Stress Testing and had the chance to build upon my skills in a hospital setting. What makes it even more interesting is that I am not doing the same thing every week of clinical.
Rotating tasks and building on skills
I spent two weeks working on one thing, then the next two weeks focusing on something else, rotating my experience at three different hospitals in my area. I have met various patients with different medical histories and reasons for completing the tests. I am getting used to everyday routines of the hospital too. I noticed tasks for Cardiology Technologists’ vary from hospital to hospital. In one of the hospitals, there are a lot of patients with pacemakers, so knowing how to read pacemaker ECGs is very important to do the job there.
Isolation gear and patient safety
Along with continuing to practice stress testing, ECGs, and Holter scanning, I also had lots of chances to work on wearing isolation gear. This is an important factor in your safety and the patient’s safety in a hospital setting and is not something I thought I would often do, but it is used a lot within this career. I have used it in the emergency room (ER), for routine ECGs, and while doing an ECG in the neonatal intensive care unit. I also practice other important tasks during clinical, such as printing off patient’s previous ECGs, downloading Holter recordings onto chips, filling out forms, hooking up 24-hour blood pressure monitors, etc.
Making the most of the clinical
Since the registry exam is in April, whenever I have any spare time, I try to fit in some studying. The exam is based on everything we have learned in the program, so I believe it is important to start studying early because there is so much information to go over. I ask a lot of questions at the hospital and make many notes as well. I also practice interpreting ECGs and write a weekly journal as part of my “homework” for school during Cardio Tech clinical.
Taking this Cardiology Technologist program has been quite an adventure, and although I am still doing my clinical, it will be coming to an end soon. I have learned so much in the last year and although the program was a lot of work (late nights studying, long lab days, writing exams and completing projects) I am seeing it all come together during clinical.
Check out a video of our cardio tech students in action.