College, Geisinger Collaborate on Cardiovascular Technology Major

Published 04.02.2001


Pennsylvania College of Technology and Geisinger Health System's School of Cardiovascular Technology will join forces to offer a bachelor-degree program for students seeking employment as cardiovascular technologists.

The new program, which students can begin as early as this summer, calls for three years at Penn College in the School of Health Sciences' Applied Health Studies major and a fourth year at Geisinger's School of Cardiovascular Technology in Danville. The students will receive classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction at Geisinger Medical Center in their final year of training.

The Penn College portion of the curriculum may be taken on a full- or part-time basis, but the final year of training at Geisinger is offered on a full-time basis only, at present.

After completing the program and gaining certification as a Registered Cardiovascular Technician from Cardiovascular Credentialing International, graduates will be awarded a bachelor's degree in Applied Health Studies from Penn College.

"Cardiovascular technologists are in heavy demand throughout the country, and the job market is predicted to be growing or stable," said Deborah A. Wilson, dean of Penn College's School of Health Sciences.

"Cardiovascular technology is an exciting field in which a technologist plays an important role on the Heart Team to help diagnose and treat heart disease," added Donna Myers, coordinator for Geisinger Medical Center's Cardiovascular Technology Program.

Students interested in the Cardiovascular Technology option of the Applied Health Studies major must work closely with Kathleen E. Morr, assistant to the dean of the School of Health Studies at Penn College and the adviser to the Applied Heath Studies program. Deviation from the prescribed curriculum could delay acceptance into the CVT Program at Geisinger.

Geisinger will accept at least two qualified Penn College students a year (and possibly more) into its Cardiovascular Technology Program, Wilson said.

Cardiovascular technologists perform various cardiovascular/peripheral vascular diagnostic and therapeutic procedures under the supervision of a physician. Most work in hospitals, but cardiovascular technologists can provide patient services in any medical setting under a physician's supervision.

According to Dr. William J. Kimber, medical director of Geisinger's School of Cardiovascular Technology, the Geisinger program trains students to be invasive and interventional cardiovascular technologists. They perform in the Cardiac Cath Lab and are part of the physician-led team that performs diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, such as angioplasty and stent insertion. The national registry exam the students will take qualifies them in this specific area.

The average starting salary for cardiovascular technologists was $33,000 in 1996, according to the Health Professions Education Directory.

For more information about the new Cardiovascular Technology program, call Penn College's School of Health Sciences at (570) 327-4519, send e-mail or visit the College's Web site.