A cardiovascular technician serves as a member of the cardiology team, performing cardiac catheterizations, angioplasty and electrophysiology. They assist physicians performing invasive cardiovascular procedures. Responsible for equipment during procedures, the cath lab tech monitors readouts, alerting the doctor to anything appearing abnormal.

Cath Lab Training

A cath lab tech usually requires a two- or four-year degree.
A cath lab tech usually requires a two- or four-year degree.

A cath lab technician almost always holds an associate's or baccalaureate degree. Initially, many techs enter the field with a two-year community or technical college degree and then complete a bachelor's degree program in a specialization. While an EKG tech may require only eight to 16 weeks of training, sometimes on the job, work in a cauterization lab usually calls for more extensive training.

Cath Lab Curriculum

A cath lab tech degree may require more than three years to complete.
A cath lab tech degree may require more than three years to complete.

Spokane Community College established a model curriculum that includes 750 hours of instruction and formal clinical training plus 1,000 hours of clinical experience and hands-on training. Some programs also require 990 hours in a basic cardiovascular technician program and 345 hours in general education classes. This associate's degree may take three or more years to complete.

Bachelor's Degree

A four-year degree allows the cath lab tech to work with patients outside the lab.
A four-year degree allows the cath lab tech to work with patients outside the lab.

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center offers a bachelor's degree in cardiopulmonary science that expands the cath lab technician's training to encompass diagnostic testing, working with advanced technologies and working with cardiac patients beyond the lab.