Within the next five years, 76 million baby boomers or one-fifth of the entire U.S. population will begin to turn 75, hitting the age of chronic diseases and extensive healthcare treatments. As a result, there is an increasing demand for medical assistants and medical technologists in the next few years. At Gulf Coast Community Colleges, we offer a wide range of associate programs in the healthcare field. Each of them targets a particular demand, such as dental hygienists, medical lab technicians, or cardiopulmonary technicians, and each requires different skills sets and interests from students.
If you’re interested in studying the cardiopulmonary system – the heart, lungs, and veins – and working with the newest medical technology, you might find cardiopulmonary jobs very fascinating. Healthcare jobs opportunities in the field include: cardiovascular technologist, respiratory care therapist, and cardiac/telemetry technician.
Cardiopulmonary Jobs Outlook
The demand for cardiopulmonary treatment is going up. As baby boomers age, heart and lung diseases are among the most common and life-threatening chronic illnesses that require regular therapy and rehabilitation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, which makes it the leading cause of death in the U.S.
The jobs for which we provide training offer a balanced blend of knowledge about heart and lung function, medical technology, and personal interaction with patients. Different from purely technical career technologist, respiratory therapist jobs or cardiac/telemetry technicians will go beyond operating medical equipment to interact and take care of patients on a personal level.
Finally, similar to other healthcare jobs, cardiopulmonary jobs are generally well-paid. With an associate degree, you can begin with median wages of $24 to $28 hourly. Cardiac/telemetry technicians can earn more, with an average of $37 per hour.
Cardiovascular Technologist, Respiratory Therapist or Cardiac/Telemetry Technician?
All cardiopulmonary jobs focus on performing tests and operating therapeutic equipment, but the degree of technological involvement and patient interaction vary among position.
If you prefer working purely with technology, cardiovascular technologist is probably the right choice for you. This position mainly focuses on conducting tests for diagnostic purposes. You will run tests like electrocardiograms and cardiac catheterizations to determine pulmonary functions and lung capacity.
If you are more interested in interacting with patients, then cardiac/telemetry technician and respiratory therapist jobs might be good fits. While the former treats patients in critical care units, the latter provides temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, as well as emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock.
Even though some employers only require a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training, candidates without an official degree are likely to earn less than average and take longer to move up. However, with a two-year associate degree program at one of the Gulf Coast Community Colleges, you will learn how to operate technologically advanced equipment. At the same time, you can improve your written and verbal communication skills to ensure clear understanding between physicians, you, and patients. Apply for an associate degree in cardiopulmonary now to have better career advancement opportunities in the healthcare jobs market.