Nurses play a critical role in the daily operations of a medical practice. They work closely with doctors, nurses, and other staff to provide patient care. Nurses working in cardiology perform specialized duties relating to heart health, in addition to basic job responsibilities such as taking blood pressure and vital signs, weighing patients and prepping them for medical procedures.
Cardiologists diagnose and treat heart conditions, usually providing ongoing care for patients. Medical assistants and nurses in this field must be knowledgeable of common heart conditions, treatments and the equipment used in patient care. On a typical day, the assistant will record heart test results, take electrocardiograms and advise patients on medication if directed by the cardiologist to do so.
Cardiology medical assistants measure the electrical activity of a patient’s heartbeat with an EKG. This allows the cardiologist to determine any heart irregularities or abnormalities. Medical assistants and nurses do not make any conclusions or deliver results to patients based on the findings, as this is done by the doctor. However the assistant often administers the EKG to the patient.
Graduation from an accredited medical assisting program is required for cardiology medical assistants. Cardiology practices typically require certification, which can be obtained from organizations including the American Association of Medical Assistants and American Medical Technologists. Assistants can also get additional EKG certification, which could result in more job opportunities.
Nurses and assistants with a cardiology focus are in needed to ensure quality care for people seeking lifesaving heart treatments. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects medical assistant jobs to increase by 29 percent during the decade spanning 2012 through 2022. Those looking to move into this role should make every effort to obtain EKG certification in addition to the required certification typically needed for all nursesand assistants.