Most people understand exactly what cardiologists or heart surgeons do. However, in the cardiology department, you will find some other unrecognized superheroes known as cardiac physiologists. This is a very marketable profession because 100% of successful students looking for cardiac physiologist jobs are employed within six months after graduation. So, what exactly does a cardiac physiologist do?
1. Carry out cardiac tests that include echocardiograms, 24-hour Holter monitors, blood pressure, stress tests, and tilt-table test. Cardiac physiologists are trained to use high-tech equipment like ultra-sound scanners to assess cardiac patients when they come to the hospital.
2. They also work in the labs to help with cardiac catheterization, pacemaker/ICD implantation, angiogram and angioplasty procedures and of course stenting.
3. They work in the operating theatre as a perfusionist. What this means is that they keep the patient safe during any heart operation whether it’s an angioplasty, heart valve replacement, septal hole closure, or pacemaker implantation. Their job in this particular aspect is to monitor ECG and blood pressure waves and determine any deterioration on the patient, so they can alert the operating team and help them to reverse the signs and stabilize the patient.
4. A cardiac physiologist delivers shocks when a patient suffers a shockable rhythmic cardiac arrest. This can be during the surgery or any time the patient is in the hospital.
5. Selecting the best pacemaker for a surgeon to use during a surgery. This is usually done after they study a patient’s heart. Once the pacemaker is identified the physiologist will be responsible for adjusting and fine-tuning it so that it can achieve its desired results.
6. Another vital role of a cardiac physiologist is to prepare the patient on what lies ahead if they require surgery. Most of the time, patients are afraid of cath labs and heart surgeons, so it’s the job of a cardiac physiologist to calm them down and create a friendly environment, so they are not scared.
7. Analyze the findings of every test and write a report for the cardiologist in charge so they can decide on the right course of treatment. Physiologist gives expert advice to the cardiologist or heart surgeon because their job is a bit wholesome and covers every area of the patient’s health, not just the heart.
8. Advice patients on lifestyle changes and cardiac rehabilitation after surgery or surviving a heart attack, so they do not suffer another one soon. If the hospital has a cardiac rehab, most of the time it is the cardiac physiologists who carry out stress tests on the patients to come up with a proper exercise program that won’t be too much on the heart.
Treating patients who have heart issues is a job that requires a strong team of professionals. A cardiac physiologist is an integral part of this team because they are the first and last person to interact with heart patients. One famous cardiologist said that cardiac physiologists are the tools that cardiologists and heart surgeons use to diagnose and treat heart diseases.