Travel cardiac cath lab tech career guide
Travel cardiac cath lab techs, also known as cardiac catheterization lab technologists, are diagnostic imaging specialists who assist physicians with minimally-invasive procedures in cardiac cath labs. Travel cardiac cath lab techs use imaging to help visualize cardiac tissue and vasculature so doctors can perform procedures such as biopsies, stenting, balloon angioplasties, and more. The job outlook for travel cardiac cath lab technologists is bright, with demand expected to remain strong due to an aging population and the widespread prevalence of cardiovascular issues in patients such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart failure. The skills that travel cardiac cath lab techs have make them a valuable asset to interventional cardiac teams.
At Nomad Health, we understand that can be demanding, but incredibly rewarding too. That’s why we’re dedicated to removing obstacles for our travel cardiac cath lab techs, so they can thrive personally and professionally wherever they are. If you’re starting your travel journey, or want to learn more about what it’s like to be a travel cardiac cath lab tech, our guide is here to help.
What does a travel cardiac cath lab tech do?
Travel cardiac cath lab techs play an essential role in diagnosing and treating patients with cardiovascular conditions. They are tasked with assisting physicians during cardiac procedures in cardiac cath labs by passing instruments, injecting contrast agents, operating fluoroscopy equipment, capturing live images, and attending to other crucial needs. Travel cardiac cath lab techs have a strong understanding of catheterization procedures and know how to collaborate and communicate with other medical professionals, patients, and their families. Additionally, travel cardiac cath lab techs have routine tasks they must complete throughout the day, including:
Cath lab setup
Travel cardiac cath lab techs are responsible for making sure the catheterization lab is clean, stocked with appropriate supplies, and ready for scheduled procedures.
Travel cardiac cath lab techs will help patients get settled in and prepared for their procedure. They will answer patients questions and assist the patient so they are in the correct positioning on the table. They will also apply electrodes for any EKG monitors being used.
Assist with procedures
One of the most important tasks of a travel cardiac cath lab tech is to safely assist the medical team with cardiac procedures. During procedures in the cath lab, these techs are responsible for operating fluoroscopy equipment (depending on state regulations), monitoring patient vital signs, maintaining sterile procedure, and assisting the physician by passing them instruments and anticipating their needs. They also ensure that the patient and team is shielded from excessive radiation.
After each procedure, the travel cardiac cath lab tech will transfer the patient into the recovery area. They will also sterilize all the instruments used during the procedure and update the patient's medical records to include any observations noted during the procedure.
At the end of the day, travel cardiac cath lab techs will ensure the lab is cleaned, sterilized, and supplies have been restocked for the next day. They will also check all equipment in the cath lab and report any issues to the maintenance team.
How much does a travel cardiac cath lab tech earn?
The of travel cardiac cath lab techs depends on many different factors including location, experience, facility demand, education, and certifications. Travel cardiac cath lab techs at Nomad Health earn a total weekly compensation of $72 per hour, including a travel stipend.
How do you become a licensed travel cardiac cath lab tech?
The journey to become a travel cardiac cath lab tech takes about three to four years total, although everyone’s career trajectory is slightly different. Take a look at the steps below:
Step 1: complete educational requirements
The first step to becoming a travel cardiac cath lab tech is to earn at least an associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology, or radiologic technology. Here, you’ll get classroom education accompanied by hands-on clinical training.
Step 2: pass the certification exam
Step 3: fulfill state licensing requirements
Keep in mind that as a travel cardiac cath lab tech, you'll need to follow each state's licensing requirements. Some state’s may require certification from the CCI versus the ARRT. Be sure to check with each state’s regulatory board to know exactly what you need.
What certification do travel cardiac cath lab techs need?
are an excellent way for travel cardiac cath lab techs to show their expertise and increase their skills. Most of these certifications are awarded by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). There are a few certifications that are frequently required to work as a travel cardiac cath lab technologist:
Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)
This key certification is awarded by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and is designed for rad techs who want to work in the cath lab. Some facilities accept this certification.
Some facilities will consider this this certification, along with previous cardiac cath lab tech experience, as sufficient qualification for a job.
Travel cardiac cath lab techs can earn this certification to pursue a specialization in cardiac-interventional radiology. Some facilities and states may require this certification.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
If working with adult patients, ACLS is required for travel cardiac cath lab techs. The need for patients with advanced life support is higher in this population.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
For those working with pediatric patients, PALS will be required; the need for advanced life support is higher in this population.
Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
All hospitals and facilities require travel cardiac cath lab techs to be certified in basic life support in the event of an emergency situation.