Cardiology can be a fascinating career with many opportunities. This particular branch of medicine deals with disorders of the human heart and can cover some circulatory system disorders as well. If you’re thinking of venturing into a career in the field of cardiology while living in California here are some of the most common jobs you’ll likely find available on the market.
If you’re not interested in investing many years to be rewarded with the title of a doctor, you can opt for being a cardiac nurse. This job position allows you to assist doctors in diagnosing heart-related conditions. You’ll also be active in scheduling patient surgeries, and providing follow up care. As a cardiac nurse, it will be your job to assist patients in rehabilitation from their surgery.
You may hear this position referred to as a cardiac technician or technologist. These individuals perform various tests to help diagnose and monitor a patient’s condition. Some of the most common tests that are performed include EKGs, cardiac stress tests, and echocardiography. Apart from performing these tests, you’ll also be responsible for analyzing them to provide an adequate report to the patient’s physician.
Cardiologists who fall into this category work mainly in an office setting, hinting at the non-invasive title. These individuals are consultants who work with patients to diagnose, monitor and prevent heart conditions. You may find non-invasive cardiologists working inpatient clinics and running tests to diagnose heart conditions. A non-invasive cardiologist can easily interpret cardiac test results and talk with patients about their treatment options.
Contrary to a non-invasive cardiologist, an invasive cardiologist handles everything related to invasive heart procedures. This type of cardiologist usually deals with only minor surgeries and catheterization. A catheterization is typically performed on patients who have suspected heart blockages. If an invasive cardiologist discovers a blockage in the heart, they will refer the patient to a more experienced interventional cardiologist.
Interventional cardiologist jobs in California are plentiful as these individuals require a higher level of training than both invasive and non-invasive cardiologists. These cardiologists are qualified to perform advanced cardiac procedures. Some common invasive procedures that they perform include heart catheterizations, plaque removal, valve repair, balloon angioplasties, mesh stents, and stent placements in diseased or closed arteries. Interventional cardiologist jobs in California require a qualified person that works both in the operating room and the office. These cardiologists will prep and perform regular follow-up consultations with their patients.
These individuals deal with everything cardiac electrophysiology. Electrophysiology is a large term used to describe the study of the heart’s electrical impulses. They will work to identify irregular heartbeats and other electrical stimulus issues of the heart that can lead to problems like cardiac arrest. Electrophysiology cardiologists will spend some of their time installing defibrillators and pacemakers. These specialists also work to administer medication to patients who are dealing with irregularities in their heart rhythms.
As the name suggests, this qualified individual performs surgery on the heart. This career requires a high level of additional qualifications over a traditional cardiologist. Cardiac surgeons perform major surgeries on patients. These include operations on major blood vessels, veins, arteries, and hearts.
This job entails performing and reading a wide range of images that are created regarding problems with the heart. These include cardiac CT scan images, MRI scans, cardiac echocardiograms, and cardiac stress tests. Most imaging cardiologists don’t have direct patient contact in their daily work schedule.
Many of these positions have tasks that overlap. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for a more specialized cardiologist to perform many of the tasks that less specialized cardiologists do. In fact, many hospitals and healthcare facilities will hire specialized cardiologist to handle both their unique cases and regular cases.
A Dig Deeper Into Specialties
In our list above, you discovered what the main areas of cardiology include. These are cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, heart failure physicians, and those who deal with adult congenital heart disease. Each one of these individual specialties offers subspecialties that one can venture into. Some examples of sub-specialties include obstetric cardiology, pulmonary hypertension, sports cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation, and inherited cardiac diseases.
Cardiology is a rapidly evolving field that is constantly breaking way with new technological innovations coming out of California to help treat patients. If you’re looking for an exciting future with a lot of opportunities, then cardiology may be the right place for you. You can choose to work in a general specialty, or you can opt to gain additional knowledge in a sub-specialty.
A Quick Look At Educational Requirements
As you can likely infer, careers in sub-specialties will require the longest educational commitment. More general cardiology careers can be accomplished sooner than sub-specialties. Let’s take a quick look at what the educational time investment is for different types of careers in cardiology.
For those looking to become a cardiac nurse, you can expect to spend two to four years getting your initial RN degree. Most hospitals and healthcare facilities require cardiac nurses to have a BSN instead of an ADN. After completing your initial nursing degree, you’ll need to invest another two years in active training within the cardiac field.
To become a general cardiologist, you’ll have a lot of years to commit. First, you’ll need to go to medical school for four years. Next, you’ll need to complete a three-year internal medicine training program. Lastly, you’ll need to complete three more years of specialized training.
The more skilled position of a cardiac surgeon takes one of the longest educational commitments in the field of medicine. You’ll start by completing four years of an undergraduate degree program. Then, you’ll move on to taking four full years in medical school. Once medical school is over, you’ll move on to a five-year general surgery residency. The last step that you’ll need to take is to invest two to three years in specialized cardio or cardiothoracic fellowship.