Becoming a Cath Lab Tech, Part 2

This is the second article of a two-part series on becoming a Cath Lab Tech.

There are two different paths that can be taken when pursuing a career as a Cath Lab Tech; the second is through a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) certification from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

What’s the difference between an RCIS and an RT?

Cath Lab Techs with an RCIS certification typically perform all of the same tasks as those with the RT certification. The only major difference between the two is that a Cath Lab Tech with an RCIS certification has been specifically trained to work in the Cath Lab.

What are the education requirements?

There are a few options for meeting the education requirements of the RCIS certification, they are as follows:

  1. Complete an accredited program in invasive cardiovascular technology. This is the easiest path to eligibility, requiring only a completion certificate or transcript and a student verification letter to schedule testing. Most programs are only two years in length and provide an extensive amount of clinical experience on top of the expected classroom learning.
  2. Complete a non-accredited program in invasive cardiovascular technology. If you opt to complete a non-accredited program, you need to be sure that it includes a minimum of one year of specialty training and 800 clinical hours. In order to show eligibility, you’ll need a completion certificate or transcript, a student verification letter, and a clinical experience letter.
  3. Earn a diploma, Associate’s degree, or Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. If you decide to pursue an RCIS certification after completing a more generic education program, there are some additional requirements that must be met. In order to be eligible, you must also have at least one year of full-time work experience in invasive cardiovascular technology, 600 invasive procedures in your career, and the documentation to support both items.

How do I earn my RCIS certification?

Once you’ve met the education requirements, you can submit your application and schedule your exam. The RCIS exam is two hours long and includes 130 multiple choice questions. After the exam, you’ll receive an unofficial score report immediately, followed by your official results in about 3 weeks. If you do not pass, there is a mandatory waiting period of 45 days before a new application can be submitted.

What’s next?

Following your initial certification, it is essential that you maintain your active status. Your first renewal will be due before the first day of the quarter you received your initial certification in the year prior. After that, you’ll move to a triennial renewal schedule.

For more specific information on the certification process, be sure to check out the CCI website.

At CardioSolution, we’re always on the lookout for quality Cath Lab Tech candidates to fill open positions across the country. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, check out our job board or give us a call at 866-755-7519.