Naval School of Health SciencesSICP SVT School Spotlight

James M. Glasgow, Hospital Corpsman First Class Petty Officer, United States Navy, Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS), RN, is the Program Director and Master Training Specialist for the Cardiovascular (CV) School at the Naval School of Health Sciences, San Diego. He is also the Enlisted Technical Advisor for Cardiovascular Technicians to the Surgeon General of the Navy. Why and how did you become an educator? I wanted to pass along my experience and technical skills. Once my request to become an instructor was approved by the Program Director, I was sent to the Naval Instructor School in Virginia. I have a background in Critical Care Medicine (since 1987) and Cardiovascular Medicine (since 1992). I have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Trident College, am qualified as an ACLS Instructor and I am also trained in cold weather survival. My Naval experience includes serving overseas in Okinawa, Japan, as the Technical Director of CV Services and deploying for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica as the Inpatient Coordinator. Stateside, I was assigned at Naval Hospital, Charleston, SC, as EMS Supervisor and Clinical Instructor in the ICU and CCU, prior to being assigned to Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, as an instructor for the CV Program. While the program was at Bethesda, I was the Invasive Clinical Coordinator, and Director of ACLS, in addition to my instructional responsibilities. How long has your program been in operation? The programs started in the 1950’s as a 26-week cardiopulmonary school back at Naval Hospital Bethesda. In the late 1960’s, the length of training increased to a 13-month program. In 1991, when the pulmonary functions were removed from the CVT duties, it became solely a CV Technology program. Describe your program syllabus, both clinical and classroom. The program is taught in two phases Didactic and Clinical, with the following breakdown: Didactic Phase: 539 hours, Didactic Practical Lab: 117 hours. Didactic topics include:
Anatomy & Physiology Integrated Sciences Pharmacology, Electrocardiography and Pacing Electrophysiology Blood Gas Analysis Cardiac Catheterization and Hemodynamic Monitoring Cardiovascular Radiography and Echocardiography
Clinical Phase:
ECG, Stress and Holter Monitoring - 79 hours Pacemaker and Electrophysiology - 79 hours, Echocardiography - 402 hours Cath Lab Radiology - 158 hours Cath Lab Monitoring - 238 hours Cath Lab Scrub - 238 hours Critical Care Unit - 118 hours
How many students do you accept each year and have you seen an increase in applicants over the years? We accept 30 students annually: two classes of 15 students per year. We have always had a large amount of applicants, usually around 60-80 per year. What backgrounds do students generally have? First and foremost, students must be on active duty in the Navy and meet strict requirements for acceptance to the school. All students enter with the baseline knowledge of the 14-week Hospital Corpsman curriculum. The Hospital Corpsman school trains Naval Medical personnel in basic nursing skills and emergency medical techniques. Graduates of the Hospital Corps School are eligible for LVN licensure in many states and upon completion of the ambulance experience and the EMT exam, qualify as EMT-B. Many students come from operational backgrounds such as medical support for the Fleet Marine Force and shipboard medical personnel. All students must have high school or college math and science to be considered for the school. Some students have AS or BS degrees. What is your program’s annual tuition? Students are active duty members of the United States Navy and are assigned to the school as students under instruction the same as if they were going to their regular Navy job every day and, subsequently, are not required to pay any tuition or fees. Upon graduation, however, students must commit to more time on active duty, which is usually three years. What textbooks, CDs, and websites are used in your classes? Any innovative teaching tools? Our program, like most colleges and universities, uses many of the latest textbooks. These books include:
Tortora’s Principles of Anatomy & Physiology Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology Grossman’s Cardiac Catheterization Textbook Kern’s Handbooks for cardiac catheterization and intervention Heart (Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations) Feigenbaum’s Echocardiography Iowa Heart Institute Echo Workbooks
We also developed a CD for the student that goes along with the cath lab curriculum for home study. Other CDs that are used include Topol’s Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart Sounds and Pressure Waveforms. Each student has a computer at their desk with access to interactive websites and also have ECG and hemodynamic programs loaded on the LAN for their use. We provide access to satellite TV broadcast as well. What types of clinical experiences do you offer students? The students must complete clinical rotations in the cath lab, echo lab, pacemaker lab, stress testing, and holter monitoring and critical care. These rotations offer our students a well-rounded clinical program in both invasive and non-invasive procedures. How hands on does the student become and when do they start this exposure? The students are required to successfully perform all procedures of the RCIS staff without assistance by the end of each rotation. Students begin clinical after five months of didactic studies. There are a total of seven clinical rotations areas. Are your students cross-trained? Yes. Students are taught both invasive and non-invasive procedures. Once our students graduate, they may be sent to any Navy medical facility. They may be responsible to work in either area so we ensure they are prepared to handle anything. Who does your classroom and clinical teaching? We have five instructors on staff at the school, all of whom are specialized in the areas that they teach. The RCIS staff at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego are appointed by the school as Clinical Instructors. The school instructors, in turn, serve as Clinical Coordinators. The Director for Cardiology for the Naval Medical Center, San Diego also serves as the Medical Director for the School. What is the employment outlook for your graduates? Since the program is for active duty military personnel, all graduates are placed at Naval Medical Treatment facilities (MTFs) upon graduation! All graduates are guaranteed a CV technician job upon completion of the program with a Navy MTF. They must continue to serve in the Navy for at least three years after graduation. Some graduates are eligible for a cash bonus upon graduation. What are typical starting salaries for graduates? Salary depends on their rank and years of service, but is usually between $29, 181.60 to $40,838.40 to start. They also receive full medical, dental and life insurance coverage, along with housing and uniform allowances. What career opportunities have past graduates experienced? Upon graduation, the technician is transferred to a Navy MTF within the U.S. or overseas to work in invasive/noninvasive cardiovascular services or in the cardiac surgical suite. Some of the more experienced technicians are placed in management positions in the cardiac cath lab or cardiology clinic. Those who have retired or departed the Navy have become cath lab managers and directors, others have moved to the industry side of the field in sales or clinical support. At least one is the director of a Cardiovascular Technician program at a local community college. Is there currently a demand for graduates of accredited CVT programs and will there be demand in the future? Yes! The demand looks great for the future in the Navy. Currently we are about 88% of our total staffing level but will achieve 100% manning when the current class graduates. We do not foresee a shortage rather a continuing requirement to train the same numbers we have been training. How successful have graduates been in passing the RCIS exam? There is currently a 90 to 95% passing rate on the RCIS exam on students’ first try. How has the CVT program evolved over the past 5 years? The major change was closing the school at the Naval Medical Education and Training Command, Bethesda, and moving it back to the Naval School of Health Sciences, San Diego. We have also added a patient assessment section to the didactic phase along with additional practical examinations. We have the latest technology and equipment to keep current with changing trends in the civilian sector. Our classroom is outfitted with computers for each student, a LCD projector, a document camera, a VCR and training models. Our computers are networked and have access to the internet. Our lab has a brand new balloon pump and hemodynamic monitoring system, ECG monitoring equipment, two echo machines, as well as a SMART board to assist in interactive training. We also have access to a Patient Simulator located in the schoolhouse. The Patient Simulator allows us to run realistic scenarios and test the students prior to allowing them to work with live patients. What advice can you give to students considering the CVT School? Primarily, applicants should have a good foundation in math and sciences as well as patient care experience. What do you consider unique about your program? We are able to teach both invasive and non-invasive technology in a shorter period of time than most programs take to teach only one of those disciplines. We do this by focusing the students’ time entirely on the coursework and have instruction for 7 to 8 hours per day. Our students also receive college credit for the school and we pay for them to take the RCIS examination from CCI right after graduation. Can you share a particularly funny, bizarre or proud teaching moment? A very proud moment was during graduation last year. As I spoke at the ceremony, I noticed that all the CV Technicians in attendance have all been students of mine at one time or the other. It was great to know that I had a part in the success of their careers. A question for students. Why did you choose to become a CVT? Various students replied:
More advanced technical job and skills Wanted a challenging job in my Naval career and skills that can be used once I leave the Navy Looking for a better way to serve in patient care