Cardiovascular Technology programs receive reaccreditation

The Cardiovascular Technology (CVT) programs at Northeast State recently earned reaccreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT). The invasive and non-invasive CVT programs prepare students for a career in the healthcare field with special emphasis in cardiovascular catheterization labs and echocardiography labs.

A peer review conducted on-site earlier this year by JRC-CVT proctors graded the programs’ compliance with nationally recognized accreditation standards. The review was conducted in February at the Regional Center for Health-Professions building on the Northeast State at Kingsport campus. The Committee notified the department of the accreditation earlier this month.

“I was thrilled with the results of the accreditation,” said Angie Slone, director of the Cardiovascular Technology program at Northeast State.

Commonly referred to as echocardiography or simply “echo,” non-invasive cardiovascular technologists use sophisticated technology to create and read sound waves to capture videos and images of the heart.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded continuing accreditation to both the Invasive and Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology programs at Northeast State. JRC-CVT and CAAHEP’s Board of Directors recognized the program’s substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standard. CAAHEP accredits programs in cardiovascular education, upon the recommendation of the JRC-CVT. Upon completion of the review, all program areas complied with JRC-CVT standards with no deficiencies noted.

Cardiovascular Technology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiac and peripheral vascular disease. Invasive Cardiovascular technologists assist in invasive cardiovascular catheterization and related procedures in laboratories of medical facilities. Non-Invasive/Echocardiography technologists assist in echocardiography and exercise stress testing in laboratories of medical facilities.

Invasive cardiovascular technologists assist with catheterization procedures involving a patient’s heart as well as patient monitoring for types of heart surgery.

Career options look bright for cardiovascular technologists, according to national labor forecasters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the employment opportunities for cardiovascular technologists and technicians is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“The two-year CVT program is ideal for Tennessee Promise students,” said Slone. “A student who wants to pursue the cardiovascular technology major can complete an associate of applied science degree debt-free and start an ever-growing career in the healthcare field.”

The CAAHEP cooperates with professional societies including the American College of Cardiology, American College of Radiology, American Society of Echocardiography to establish standards of quality for educational programs in Cardiovascular Technology. The Commission provides recognition for educational programs that meet or exceed the minimum standards.

Northeast State is one of only two colleges in Tennessee to offer a CAAHEP-accredited program in this healthcare discipline. The next comprehensive evaluation of the College’s CVT program and on-site review is scheduled to occur no later than 2027.

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