I just finished up my fifth course of the Cardiology Technologist program. Within the last couple months, I have been getting used to the distance portion of the program. The way it is set up, we do our coursework part online, and then we meet with our instructors and other classmates in August and again in the fall for our hands-on labs. We also have our individual observational days and practice days at our local hospital, and then at the end of the program we do a three month clinical at the same hospital.
Learning Online together through forums
So far, the distance portion of the program is working out great! We have weekly Adobe Connect meetings where we get to chat with our instructors and classmates, as well as ask questions and also help each other out. There are forums that we can use for learning online as well. We have weekly assignments that our classmates and instructors can give feedback on, and we have larger projects and research essays that are worth lots of points. On a daily basis, there are lectures and videos to watch, coursework to read, textbook readings to complete, and sometimes quizzes to do. These are all done at home, which is very convenient. You don’t have to spend time driving to school, getting to school at an exact time, or worrying about weather conditions.
Focus is the key
The online program does require you to be very focused on what you are doing though, because when you are at home sometimes you lose focus on your work. You also have to get your work done – not put it off. Sometimes people think that since you are home, you have time to do whatever you want, but you don’t.
I like to make daily schedules so that I make sure my time is spent wisely. I allow time to learn the new coursework for each day, time for homework, assignments, and then of course, break time.
This program is very fast-paced, but that’s a good thing. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned so far. The cardiology material involved in each course makes it so fun to learn about since it is something we as students in this program are so interested in.
When doing online work, I suggest taking a few short breaks throughout the day. I like to get out and go for a walk, ride my horse when I have the chance, and make time to relax too. I make sure I am able to spend time doing the things I love to do, while still making sure my school work is the top priority. On the weekends, I like to work on my assignments/essays for the week, so I have more time to focus on learning online and absorbing the material during the week.
Writing proctored exams
Currently, I just finished my exam for the first course that was really focused on the cardiology material. It was Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology, and I just loved every minute of it! We learned so many things, such as in-depth cardiac anatomy, cellular aspects of cardiac physiology, the electrical conduction system, as well as the overall mechanical actions and cycles of the heart. Next week we start a course on, Health Research and Statistics and then after that is Cardiac Pathophysiology. It’s all so exciting!
Most exams in this program are written with a proctor, a person who monitors the students during examinations. A librarian is my proctor, so I write my exams at a local library with her. Proctored exams are set up very similar to the way regular classroom exams would be and are very professionally completed. We must know the cardiology coursework in this program extremely well, so lots of studying is a must. Although sometimes lots of studying can seem a little intimidating, this is the type of material that I love to learn about. Studying doesn’t seem as scary when it’s something you love to do!
Keep reading to learn more about my next steps into becoming a Cardiology Technologist!
Check out a video of our cardio tech students in action.