Invasive Cardiovascular Technologists assist physicians with cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is wound through a patient’s blood vessel from a spot on the patient’s leg into the heart.
The procedure can determine if a blockage exists in the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle. Part of the procedure may involve balloon angioplasty, which can be used to treat blockages of blood vessels or heart valves, without the need for heart surgery.
Technologists prepare patients for cardiac catheterization. During the procedures, they monitor patients’ blood pressure and heart rate with EKG equipment and notify the physician if something appears to be wrong. Some cardiology technologists also prepare and monitor patients during open-heart surgery and during the insertion of pacemakers and stents that open up blockages in arteries to the heart and major blood vessels.