How COVID-19 is affecting work for cardiovascular professionals

ACVP - How COVID-19 is affecting work for cardiovascular professionals.

It's an overwhelming and busy time for every one—especially for our cardiovascular professionals who are doing their best to provide high quality care as hospital resources are diverted to containing the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals, we reached out to some of our fellows and leaders to offer insight into how COVID-19 is affecting work for cardiovascular professionals, how different organizations are handling the crisis, and what the future holds for cardiovascular professionals.

If you'd like to know about ACVP's own response to COVID-19, you can find that here.

We are particularly thankful to new fellow Jeff Richards, MBA, RCIS, FACVP, who made the time to provide us with the following, detailed response to kick off discussion among our entire network about how COVID-19 is affecting work for cardiovascular professionals.

If you have a spare moment, please tell us how COVID-19 is affecting your work!

Leave a comment, below »


As an RCIS in a very busy Cath Lab, my workflow has changed dramatically. Our lab went from doing twenty-five to thirty cases a day to less than five procedures. The Cardiology team has been diligently working to comb through patients and are only bringing to the lab individuals who are deemed urgent or emergent. The cardiac team is relying more heavily on coronary CTA than they may have in the past as it is generally quicker and exposes fewer staff members. That being said, we are still conducting outpatient, endomyocardial biopsies for post cardiac transplant patients as timely medication adjustments in the event of rejection are still crucial.

Our staffing model has changed drastically as well over the past few weeks. We are only bringing in one to two teams and are letting staff go home as quickly as possible throughout the shift. In the past, we have generally worked on three person teams consisting of a combination of nurses and technologists. Our workflow typically has one nurse sedating and one or two technologists driving the table and circulating. However, with our goal of reducing exposure, we have dropped the in-room team down to one nurse and one technologist, with a third team member outside the room to aid in fetching products, imaging consoles, and anything that may be outside of the procedure room.

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A Day in the Life of a Cardiovascular Technologist

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals produced a new feature on Cardiovascular Technology and the career of a Cardiovascular Technologist on the Health Professions Network website, hpnonline.org.

In the current health crisis, every one is reminded of the crucial importance and value of health care professionals and health careers. But shortages of professionals still affect many States, and some students who might be interested in health careers just aren't quite sure what to expect from the educational requirements to the day-to-day life of a professional.

To help address these issues and to raise the profile of the cardiovascular profession, we're participating in a Health Professions Network initiative designed to promote practical and personal perspectives on health education and work in non-physician careers.

Goals and Rewards of Being a Cardiovascular Technologist

Please note, the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals represents individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds, but this feature focused on cardiovascular technology and the cardiovascular technologist as other HPN members will cover nursing and radiologic technology as pathways to health careers in a number of specialties.

The feature still has takeaways for radiologic technologists and registered nurses interested in particular cardiovascular work environments, and emphasizes the crucial importance of teamwork and diverse professional backgrounds in the cardiac care team.

We surveyed a number of professional and student ACVP members to compile our perspectives, and we thank all of the individuals who helped us create this resource for the next generation of cardiovascular professionals!

The resource is also far from set in stone, and we invite your feedback on how it might be improved in the future. And please, share this resource!

Read "A Day in the Life of a Cardiovascular Technologist" on hpnonline.org »

The Value of an Association of Cardiovascular Professionals

the value of an association of cardiovscular professionals

My boss, Peggy McElgunn, is a truly excellent mentor and advocate. She has decades of experience serving as the Executive Director of the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals as well as with other professional associations and non-profit organizations across healthcare and other industries. Her wealth of knowledge and expertise is no small part of the value ACVP members receive for their dues investment. And in thinking about continuing the spirit of Cardiovascular Professionals Week year-round, I asked her to share with us some of her thoughts on the value of an association of cardiovascular professionals, what supporting an association like ACVP really does both for individuals and for the profession as a whole. - Kurt Jensen


Professional associations have existed for as long as people have gathered and there have been trades, crafts and professions.  It is apparent we have a basic need to form communities with people who share similar interests. There is no doubt that, together, we are able to professionally accomplish more than any one of us can do independently. 

Social Networks Can't Replace an Association of Cardiovascular Professionals

In an era of the internet and social communities, the value of professional associations have been questioned, particularly by younger entrants into a field. But the internet does not curate our professional connections. The internet does not promote professional recognition as a verified expert or qualified voice. The internet does not catalog the wealth of professional information and provide us with specific support to enable us to maximize our time and potential. 

Online social networks, alone, are a poor substitute for an association of cardiovascular professionals. Only an association with a history of commitment and dedication to its members can do this effectively. 

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Calling All Outstanding Cardiovascular Teams!

We'd like to hear from you! ACVP Blog - Highlighting Outstanding Cardiovascular Teams

Cardiovascular Professionals Week 2020 has come and gone, but one week isn't nearly enough time to celebrate all that cardiovascular professionals do for their teams, organizations, and patients throughout the year. Outstanding cardiovascular teams save lives, provide excellent care, and advance the field of cardiology year-round.

Of course, the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals exists year-round to highlight these outstanding cardiovascular teams! We've decided to extend the spirit of CVP Week and put faces and names to the wide community of cardiovascular professionals that make a difference, every day. Through our blog, we'll be highlighting different individuals and teams each month, sharing stories, insights and unique perspectives that make cardiovascular care such a diverse, effective and growing field.

Through these monthly features, ACVP will also be highlighting one of the essential benefits a professional association provides: the opportunity for peers to connect with, and learn from, one another and their experiences.

We know that informal “hallway conversations” are often as productive and enlightening as formal educational sessions, if not more so—and collaboration and discussion can promote outstanding cardiovascular teams. Here, we seek to recreate that experience – social learning – through informal and focused personal narratives from professionals across the spectrum of cardiovascular care.

Our discussions may touch on:

  • Organizational team-building practices
  • Quality initiatives
  • Personal successes, current projects, and lessons learned
  • What excites you about cardiovascular work
  • Ways your team has overcome common challenges
  • Great continuing education
  • Adapting to new technology and techniques
  • Effective mentorship

Ultimately, the focus is YOU and the incredibly important work you do every day.

Outstanding Cardiovascular Teams! Contact Kurt@acp-online.org

We would love you hear from you about any of the above and give you a chance to be featured! Maybe you have a story that you think would provide some insight for your professional peers—or maybe you'd like to brag on how awesome your teammates are and why it feels great going in to work every day.

Whatever the case, let us know! We'd love to highlight you.

Leave a comment, below, or reach out to kurt@acp-online.org!