WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CARDIOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST IN SASKATCHEWAN?
WHAT IS A CARDIOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST?
Cardiology Technologists are health care professionals that provide information needed in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
WHAT EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS ARE NEEDED TO BECOME A TECH?
Anyone who wants to work as a Cardiology Technologist must:
- complete a Cardiology Technologist Diploma program – colleges offering this program can be found on the CSCT website www.csct.ca or the Canadian Medical Association website https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/official-program-list.aspx
- register with the SCTA (Saskatchewan Cardiology Technologists Association) to work as a Cardiology Technologist in Saskatchewan
- pass the CSCT (Canadian Society of Cardiology Technologists) National Exam to become a Registered Cardiology Technologist
DUTIES OF CARDIOLOGY TECHNOLOGISTS
Cardiology Technologists are responsible for performing diagnostic testing and monitoring of heart function alongside other health care professionals.
Some of these duties include:
- exercise tolerance testing
- holter and event monitoring
- blood pressure monitoring
- tilt table testing
- pacemaker analysis
PERSONAL CHARTERISTICS NEEDED TO BE A CARDIOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST
To work as a Cardiology Technologist, you must possess qualities that allow you to work consistently with patients who feel unwell or afraid.
Some necessary qualities include:
- ability to provide empathy and reassurance
- effective communication skills
- organized and thorough
- ability to work as part of a team
- ability to work under little supervision
- ability to stay calm and act quickly in emergency situations
Cardiology Technologists in Saskatchewan are often employed in physically demanding health care environments.
As such, you must have the ability to:
- stand or walk for long periods of time
- transport equipment
- assist patients with getting into and out of test positions
- follow standard infection control procedures
- work rotating shifts (shift work is part of most hospital settings)
- start in a casual position, knowing that permanent positions are given to personnel by seniority basis
WHERE AND WHEN DO CARDIO TECHS WORK IN SASKATCHEWAN?
Currently, Cardiology Technologists in Saskatchewan are primarily hired in hospital settings. These positions, most commonly:
- are shift work – shift schedules may include rotating between days, evenings and/or nights during the week, weekends, and holidays
- begin as casual positions with the ability to move into temporary or permanent, part-time and full-time positions based on hospital needs
- are part of a union, therefore, union guidelines apply for granting positions, scheduling, vacation and pay rates
- require you to perform all cardiology technology duties that are provided by the facility you work in, allowing you to maintain competency in the full scope of practice
How to learn more about becoming a Cardiology Technologist in Saskatchewan:
1. Contact a location that you may be interested in working at.
Locations across Saskatchewan that hire Cardiology Technologists include:
- Prince Albert
- Moose Jaw
- North Battleford
- Swift Current
2. Research colleges that offer Cardiology Technology Diploma programs
Colleges that allow you to learn while living in Saskatchewan are :
- British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) – www.bcit.ca
- Stenberg College – www.stenbergcollege.com
3. What type of job opportunities, wages, and benefits are available for Cardiology Technologists?
Types of jobs opportunities:
- nearly all opportunities are working in a hospital setting and involves working a full scope of duties
- positions generally start as casual or part-time, with the ability to move into permanent part-time and full-time positions based on hospital needs
- advancement into specialized technologies is possible with continuing education as defined by the position requirements specified by the union and hiring authorities (cardiac device technologist / pacemaker technologist, EP technologist, cardiovascular technologist, echocardiography technologist)
- experienced technologists may move into supervisory positions based on hospital needs and individual desires
Salary and benefits:
All Cardiology Technologists working in a hospital setting are represented by a union. Therefore, all wages and benefits are outlined by each union’s collective agreement.
- Wage – ranges from $28.67 to $32.29 (wages increase with specialized positions)
- Benefits include-paid vacation and sick time; health and dental coverage, vision care, insurances and disability coverage
Steps to becoming a Cardiology Technologist
1. Choose a school that has a Saskatchewan accredited Cardiology Technologist Diploma program
You can refer to the Canadian Medical Association website for a full list of Canadian accredited programs: https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/cardiology-technology.aspx
The majority of students based out of Saskatchewan, and those wanting to work in Saskatchewan, have gone to one of the two schools listed below:
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) - distance learning program
Stenberg College - on-line based program
Mohawk College - classroom based program - Hamilton, ON
Vancouver Island Institute of Technology - classroom based program - Vancouver Island, BC
Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick - based in New Brunswick
2. Enrolling in a program
Each school has a list of program admission requirements needed to enter into the Cardiology Technology Diploma program. You can find this information on each individual college website.
3. Once you have started the Cardiology Technology program
Each college is responsible for providing you with locations and dates for your clinical/practical experiences. Ensure you have the requirements necessary to start you clinical before your start date. Such requirements may include: CPR training, immunizations, etc. These will be provided by your college. Application for a student membership can be found on the SCTA website:
All students who successfully complete their Cardiology Technology Diploma program, must write a national exam with the CSCT (Canadian Society of Cardiology Technologists) to become a nationally registered Cardiology Technologist
Writing the CSCT National Exam
All the information you need to know about the CSCT exam can be found at the CSCT website www.csct.ca or www.scta.ca under the Exam Candidate tab. This site will provide you with all the information you need from start to finish; from when and how to apply, to practice exams, to what to bring with you to the exam.
After the National exam
Once you have successfully completed the Cardiology Technology Diploma program and passed the CSCT national exam, you are considered a Registered Cardiology Technologist. At this point, you are certified to work anywhere in Canada, congratulations!
- To work as a Cardiology Technologist you will need to perform continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain your provincial and national registration.
Information about CEUs and annual memberships are located on the SCTA website: www.scta.ca