News from the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP)

Compiled by CathLabDigest

Compiled by CathLabDigest

SICP Clinical Instructor CEUs

Clinical instructors affiliated with a CAAHEP-accredited invasive cardiovascular technology or electrophysiology education program can receive up to six (6) continuing education unit credits per calendar year for providing cardiovascular/electrophysiology clinical student instruction. One (1) SICP CEU may be awarded for two (2) hours of clinical instruction. 

Student instruction includes:

  1. Observing the student perform the procedure or part of the procedure, and offering technical tips and protocol suggestions.
  2. Reviewing the images, hemodynamic, electrophysiology or procedural outcome results with the student after the procedure and discussing pathology, pathophysiology, anatomy, differential diagnosis, expected clinical manifestations, technique, procedural options, laboratory values or treatment options of certain conditions.

Note: Time spent “in the room” with the student and not providing instruction is not considered educational and is not eligible for CEUs. The program director must maintain documentation of the clinical instructor’s time spent providing student instruction. This should include date and time, as well as the instructor’s and student’s signatures. A sample clinical instructor log is available from SICP; however, all clinical instructor logs should be submitted to the program director, not to SICP or CCI.

The program director of the invasive cardiovascular technology or electrophysiology educational program must register with SICP and submit the CEU credits quarterly or by semester, based on the educational schedule. The program director may apply and be approved for up to three years. However, the invasive cardiovascular technology or electrophysiology educational program must remain accredited.

The program director of an invasive cardiovascular technology or electrophysiology educational program must submit the CEU credits for clinical instructorship within six months and must maintain documentation of the clinical instructor’s work for three years.

The CEU-request form (see sample at right) is available from SICP by contacting

RCIS Review Course at New Cardiovascular Horizons 2012

Attend the 2nd Annual Fellows Course in Peripheral Intervention for free!

By Dana Rigdon

New Cardiovascular Horizons (NCVH) is excited to announce that the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals will again host “SICP’s Signature RCIS Review Course” at the 13th Annual NCVH Conference scheduled June 6-9, 2012, at the New Orleans Marriott.

SICP members will receive a discounted registration rate of $299 for the entire 4-day conference, including the Review Course. Details are available on NCVH’s new website at

In addition, immediately preceding the conference, all cath lab technologists and nurses are invited to attend the 2nd Annual Fellows Course in Peripheral Intervention on June 5, 2012, for free. This unique pre-conference program will provide attendees with a didactic overview of complex peripheral interventions, hands-on simulator training, and one-on-one time with expert faculty members for detailed Q&A sessions. Registration for this course is complimentary at

Once again, the NCVH program will offer dedicated breakout sessions for advanced cath lab professionals that will include outstanding education by SICP leaders. In addition, NCVH will broadcast 26+ complex peripheral LIVE cases from leading centers around the world. All attendees will have access to the general session featuring more than 200 faculty members and 50 rapid-fire lectures per day. For a review of the 2011 conference, visit

Call for cases! NCVH needs new cases for its online learning website, If you are interested in submitting a complex cath lab case, please contact the NCVH staff at

Visit the SICP online at

SICP Member Highlight: Doug Passey, RCES, RCIS, FSICP

Why did you choose to work in the invasive cardiology field?

I had just returned from being called to active duty service as a corpsman in the Navy Reserves during Desert Shield and was looking to make a few extra dollars while working as a firefighter/paramedic. I took a part-time job at a local hospital as an EKG tech. When not busy doing EKGs, I would hang out in the cardiac cath lab and watch cases. I was fascinated not only with the technology but, in particular, with the level at which the staff participated in patient care. I found invasive cardiology work to have some of the same characteristics that drew me to pre-hospital emergency services, such as critical care, working as a team, witnessing the patient’s immediate response to treatments, and (to a degree) feeling the “adrenaline rush” that being a paramedic can provide. I eventually had an opportunity to become cross-trained in the cath lab and, as they say, “the rest is history.” After treating one too many traumas on children and Christmas morning SIDS cases, I eventually quit my job as a paramedic and accepted a full-time position in the cath lab.

Can you describe your role in the cath lab?

I am currently working as the Cardiology Service Line Director at Ogden Regional Medical Center in Ogden, Utah. My responsibilities include direction over non-invasive cardiology, which includes echocardiography, EKG, stress testing, cardiac rehab, invasive cardiology including cath and EP labs, as well as working closely with the cardiac surgery department.

One thing I really like about my job is that our hospital is small enough that I still have the opportunity, on occasion, to put on scrubs and help out in the cath and EP lab by monitoring/recording a case. I think this still keeps me in touch with technology and the issues facing cath labs today.

What is the biggest challenge you see regarding your role?

The biggest challenge in my role as director of cardiology services is the increased expectancy to “do more with less,” such as operating with increased demands on staff without commensurate increases in resources and the competition for decreased capital dollars available to keep up with advancing technology. 

What motivates you to continue working in invasive cardiology?

The draw for me, I’m happy to say, continues to be the same things that interested me in the profession nearly 20 years ago. I love the camaraderie that can only come from working in “the trenches” together, and looking around the room when things get dicey and knowing that you are surrounded by well-trained professionals. When a patient experiences an acute myocardial infarction, I love seeing the instant relief in their face when you are able to open a blockage and restore coronary perfusion. I enjoy my job as a manager, which gives me the opportunity train and mentor others, and pass along those things that have been given to me over the years.

When work gets stressful and you experience low moments (as we all do), what do you do to help keep your morale high?

Like most jobs there are peaks and valleys that require us to embrace the good times and endure the less favorable moments. I think it is important to keep ourselves grounded in why we are doing what we are doing. Weekly, I have the opportunity to participate in “Administrative Rounding,” which involves visiting with patients and families. Whether it is visiting with a new mother and father in the labor and delivery department beaming over a new life or sitting with an elderly woman while her husband of 60 years struggles to hold onto life, it reminds me of the reasons I got into health care. These experiences seem to re-commit and re-energize me, and help me make it through the tough times.

Are you involved with the SICP or other cardiovascular societies?

For the past 14 years, I have been associated with Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). I was initially invited to participate as a subject matter expert and item writer for the registered cardiovascular invasive specialist (RCIS) exam committee, eventually being appointed as the exam chair. A little over 6 years ago, I accepted the position of Secretary of the Executive Committee and began the ascension from Secretary to Treasurer, then to President-Elect, and currently serve as President of the Board of Trustees for CCI. I am continually impressed with the commitment and passion of those with whom I work at CCI and their desire to further the profession and the recognition of the cardiovascular professional. They are truly dedicated individuals who donate many hours on behalf of the profession they love.

Last August, as a member of the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals, I was honored to receive their fellowship status. I feel a bit guilty being honored for something I have so much enjoyed being a part of. I highly recommend everyone become involved; either at the local level through state or regional chapters, or on a national level. I know that SICP, and for that matter, CCI, are always looking for individuals who are interested in giving of their time and talents.

Are there websites or texts that you would recommend to other labs?

Having worked so long on the RCIS exam committee, there are several texts on which we have relied over the years for our item references:

  • Cardiac Catheterization and Angiography, 6th edition, Grossman, William, Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Cardiac Catheterization Handbook, 3rd edition, Morton Kern, 1999, C.V. Mosby: St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Invasive Cardiology: A Manual for Cath Lab Personnel, Watson and Gorski, Physicians Press: Birmingham, Michigan.

Do you remember participating in your first invasive procedure? 

I remember being on call as an additional staff member during my orientation. The idea was that I would be paged for all after-hour cases and, if I was available to respond, I would. I would always be scrubbed in along with a “shadow” staff member who was constantly at my elbow to help and could step in if required. Having that person next to me was very reassuring, and I participated in many interventions, but never had an opportunity to do a full-on emergent case.

I remember the sick feeling when my mentor told me to go “scrub up” as the team was resuscitating a very sick patient. I tried to convince him I was not ready to go solo, but he told me the circumstances required me to do it, and he had full confidence in my abilities. As I walked to the scrub sink, I wished I shared his optimism. I tried to focus more on the immediate tasks in front of me and less on what was going on around me, and that seemed to help. I learned this approach many years earlier as a paramedic. When things get “hairy,” focus on the basics of airway, breathing, and circulation, and everything else will take care of itself. This process worked for me, and the case went well, although I can still vividly remember the feeling of doing that first case solo.

If you could send a message back to yourself at the beginning of your career, what advice would you give?

My advice to myself would be the same advice I would give to anyone just starting out in a career in the cardiovascular lab: it is not enough just to show up for work every day and do your job. Extend yourself and pursue the RCIS credential. Take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills and better yourself. Seek opportunities to become involved and give back to a profession that will ultimately be very rewarding.

Where do you hope to be in your career when it is time to retire?

Frankly, I hope to be doing exactly what I am doing now. I love my job and look forward to going to work. My current job provides me with enough challenges to keep me focused and an opportunity to utilize and share what I perceive are my talents.

Has anyone in particular been helpful to you in your growth as a cardiovascular professional?

Being asked to mention by name those who have been influential in my career runs the risk of leaving out many individuals who have helped along the way. I have been fortunate in that I have been helped by many people throughout my career. I will mention two individuals who, without their mentoring and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. First of all, Mike King from Vancouver, B.C., and current EP Manager-Western Canada at St. Jude Medical. Mike was the cardiology director at the time who offered me a full-time job in the cath lab at Ogden Regional Medical Center. At that time, Mike was also the current exam committee chair for the RCIS exam at CCI. He recruited me to participate as an item writer for the RCIS committee, of which I am still an active member. Mike was a great clinician and teacher, and was responsible for introducing me to the exciting field of electrophysiology.

Secondly, I would thank Scott McTaggart, currently Manager, Health Industry Advisory, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who incidentally took Mike’s place as the director of cardiology at our hospital. Initially, I was skeptical, as I was still feeling the void left by Mike King and my judgment was that Scott did not come from a clinical background, but rather from cardiovascular management. It did not take me long to appreciate what Scott had to offer. He was a tremendous source of encouragement as well as a strong mentor to me as I became the manager of the cath lab and eventually replaced him as the Director of Cardiology Services. It is my sincere hope that I can, in some way, “pay it forward” and help those that will follow.

Where do you think the invasive cardiology field is headed in the future?

These are indeed interesting times! Health care reforms have led to outcomes-based performance. This, in turn, has led to an increased focus on improving the quality of imaging studies and the competency of those who perform them. Regardless of whether the CARE bill eventually gets passed or not, I expect to see increased movement towards the importance of credentialing all staff who work in the field of invasive cardiology. We are seeing movement towards accreditation of cath labs as well as hospitals seeking accreditation as chest pain centers. These accrediting bodies recognize the value and importance of credentialed staff.

Frequently Asked Questions Addressed at SICP Educators’ Conference (continued from October 2011 issue)

Based on minutes submitted by Lois Schaffer, M.Ed, RT(R), RCIS

Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT)

Moderated by Lois Schaffer, M.Ed, RT(R), RCIS, with Clifford Araki, PhD, RVT (SVU) representing the JRC-CVT.

Q: Are the thresholds included on the annual “Report of Current Status” that we have to meet based on a three-year average or are they based on meeting the threshold yearly?

A: The annual report is based on the average of the three-year average. It is important to update your program’s information (pass rates, employment, and graduate surveys) each year.

Q: Do the thresholds for accreditation hold fairly and consistently, no matter what the program class size is? For example, a program graduating four students with two failing is a 50% passing rate, while a program with ten students and two failing is an 80% passing rate.

A: The JRC-CVT committee is more interested in the action plan to address those issues rather than the percentage of passing rates or reprimanding programs. A program that is not meeting a threshold in one area is not as big of a problem as a trend over three years or a trend in more than one area.

Q: What happens to the annual report once it is submitted? What process does it go through?

A: William (“Bill”) W. Goding, M.Ed., RRT, executive director of JRC-CVT, reviews the report and codes the tracks to Jeff Davis, RRT, RCIS, FSICP, who is the SICP contact. Committee members meet twice a year and review each report. JRC-CVT then responds to the program director. Basically, the committee divides the reports into two piles. Those in the green group have no issues to address and need no recommendations. Those in the red group are targeted for further discussion and consideration by the committee. Non-compliant programs are sent a letter requesting further clarification and/or more information. More programs are compliant than not.

Q: If a program cannot meet the thresholds for surveys within six months, what can the program do to increase its results?

A: The JRC-CVT thresholds are outcome based so that the best results are obtained for graduates. Students can take the survey at the end of the year or they can complete it within the six-month time period. JRC-CVT will respond to a single letter from a student, but if several are received, a more detailed investigation will ensue.

Q: Employment rates have dropped for graduates and some programs are not meeting their thresholds. How is the JRC-CVT addressing this concern?

A: JRC-CVT is aware of this trend, but has not developed a position. It is not the program’s responsibility to find jobs for students, but rather the decision of Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to use an outcome-based model to provide a fairer comparison for all programs.

Q: Did the JRC-CVT have any input into the RCIS exam changes or the scope of practice/core curriculum?

A: The CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation are scope of practice and core curriculum based. The core curriculum should align with the RCIS exam and scope of practice. When a site visit team arrives at a facility, it determines if a program is teaching from a current and accurate curriculum.

Q: Who has the power to change the core curriculum?

A: SICP and CVT program directors can consult with the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and other groups to determine how the process worked for them. SICP is currently in the process of updating the current core curriculum, including working with Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to obtain input from the interventional cardiologists to include in the revised core curriculum.  

Q: How does an educator become a site visitor?

A: The best process is to first become a self-study reader ( You may contact Bill Goding at JCR-CVT for more information or visit the JCR-CVT website ( for some pointers on being a self-study reader or site visitor. Program directors are requested to identify any unaccredited programs and notify JCR-CVT of them.