The cardiovascular specialist assists with the management of cardiac clinics and performs specialized, invasive and noninvasive cardiac tests and examinations.

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Cardiac Specialists work under the direction of physicians to treat cardiac emergencies and assist in patient examinations and studies in both diagnostic and invasive settings. In order to classify as a Cardiovascular Specialist, you must first complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training. The cardiovascular specialist course is an intensive program consisting of 21 weeks of Phase I didactic instruction at the Military Education and Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio, followed by 36 weeks of clinical training at one of four Army Medical Center Phase II sites. 

As a Cardiovascular Specialist, your dedication will make a difference in the lives of your fellow Soldiers… and their families.  You will study; Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Echocardiography, Electrophysiology, and Cardiac Catheterization. You will serve a vital role in supporting and promoting the care and well-being of your fellow Servicemen and women. You will learn how to assist physicians in conducting procedures, such as electrocardiograms, interpreting the heart’s rhythm, and stress tests, valuable diagnostic tools that allow a Cardiologist to uncover cardiac disease before becoming potentially life threatening. You will gain proficiency in looking for and recognizing cardiac rhythm irregularities that could indicate a life threatening medical condition. Using sound waves, you will conduct echocardiography studies, providing the Physician invaluable information regarding the heart’s structure and motion.

In addition to the cardiac catheterization laboratory the Cardiovascular Specialist Program utilizes the Simbionix Angiomentor to teach invasive skills.  This simulator is cutting edge technology and allows the instructors to simulate actual procedures during which the students are able to learn the meticulous motor skills necessary to manipulate wires, catheters, balloons, and other interventional equipment inside the patient’s coronary arteries.  The simulator is loaded with step-by-step procedures that are extremely realistic.  It tracks Xray exposure, contrast administration, and reacts to the procedure in real time.

The scenario can be tailored so that the mannequin’s vital signs respond to the medication.  This is a huge bonus because by the time you are assisting a Cardiologist in an actual, life threatening, invasive procedure you will have been through hundreds of simulated scenarios. You will play an integral part in this interventional procedure using balloons and stents to re-open the vessel.  You will administer and record tests to obtain diagnostic data on the condition of the heart.

Through mapping the heart’s electrical conduction system, the Electrophysiology study will find abnormalities and correct them with specialized techniques including implanting pacemakers when applicable. This specialty requires a cool head and the ability to think and act quickly in critical situations.

After graduation, you may be assigned to one of the Army’s premier Medical Treatment Facilities. The training and experience you gain while serving in this specialty will assist in a successful transition from the military to the civilian sector as a Cardiovascular Technologist. While the training and work may at times feel intense and stressful, the Cardiovascular Specialist is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling jobs in the Army, both personally and professionally.

Cardiovascular Specialist, “to Conserve the Fighting Strength.”