Pediatric cardiology is a specialized field in medicine which deals with identifying any irregularities or diseases which occur in the hearts of children 18 years old and younger, as well as infants who are still in their mothers’ wombs. It is the department of medicine which has the proper expertise to provide treatment and relieve the pain associated with cardiovascular diseases in infants and children.
The job is highly specialized and pediatric cardiologists undergo rigorous training and study and are skilled in identifying the difference between congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases. They are the only doctors with the necessary advanced knowledge necessary for treating heart disease in children and who can make the proper recommendations for the treatment required to live a normal healthy life.
For parents who think that their children may be suffering from a heart disease whether congenital or acquired, it is always a good recommendation to have them see a professional in pediatric cardiology.
Part of the job in pediatric cardiology is to treat children’s illnesses using the least invasive methods as possible. They have the background to perform surgical procedures when necessary, and how to make use of new treatments that require the use of the latest available technology. Because it is highly specialized, they can identify heart problems which are unique to children since these conditions affect them differently than in adults.
The advanced schooling required for pediatric cardiology provides pediatric doctors the proper training necessary to treat congenital diseases, which can present serious heart disease in children. Any woman who has a history of heart problems should consult with a pediatric cardiologist during her pregnancy to learn how to avoid the same complications for her unborn child, and identify any symptoms which could lead to potentially serious problems.
Children can also suffer from acquired heart disease at an early age and require the attention of a pediatric cardiologist. These include hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, and other issues which can make living a normal childhood difficult.
Basic responsibilities for a doctor of pediatric cardiology include conducting physical exams, echocardiography and electrocardiograms on children. They work with other doctors and nurses in diagnosing heart and blood vessel irregularities and plan the proper course of treatment. They also conduct cardiac catheterization which requires the insertion of a tube into the artery of children while under anesthesia.
Work in pediatric cardiology also includes the responsibilities of speaking with parents and families of the patients to discuss treatment options, alternatives, and consult with them about coping with their child’s situation. Education to families about their child’s condition and all other information related to it is crucial so that they understand all possible side effects and learn how to reduce the discomfort associated with the specific condition.
Aspiring pediatric cardiologists have to first complete a bachelor or master’s degree in a science field which is then followed by a medical degree. It is quite challenging to get into a medical school; so those who wish to complete a four year medicine course need to submit their results from the Medical College Admissions as well as transcripts and recommendation letters. When choosing the right medical school, it is important to note that they should be accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
The last two years of training allows pediatric cardiology students to receive hands on work under the supervision of doctors in diagnosing and treating child patients with cardiovascular diseases. They also receive education on internal medicine studies which allows them to understand more about treating heart and blood vessel illnesses in children.
This is followed by a two or three year medical residency program and a two or three year specialized fellowship in pediatric cardiology at a university. The fellowship will give them the proper educational background in medical theory as well as practical application of their medical knowledge in pediatric cardiology procedures.
Pediatric cardiology requires that students also pass the respective state exams required to attain a license and become board-certified doctors in their field. They must also pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
Pediatric cardiology is often high pressure and stressful, but doctors should have the proper characteristics which allow them to make important decisions while remaining calm. They should be good communicators since they must speak with families and work together with a team of other doctors and healthcare professionals in order to deliver the best care possible for their patients. They are good at analyzing and interpreting technical data and solving problems.
Pediatric Cardiology Work Environment
Pediatric cardiology allows for employment in a number of different healthcare environments such as hospitals, specialized children’s clinics, schools, and government institutions. They may also choose to open up their own pediatric cardiology practice after a few years of experience. Pediatric cardiologists may also work as researchers in universities and other educational settings.
Work hours can be demanding because they deal with patients who suffer from critical heart conditions, so they are on call long after typical work hours are done which include holidays, weekends, and late nights. Physical and intellectual stamina is required for a successful pediatric cardiologist to remain on top of his or her game.
The demand for pediatric cardiologists is expected to increase by at least 22% through 2019. There is also room for growth in new jobs due to the increase in medical care facilities and new technologies in the field which require the specialized knowledge of pediatric cardiology.
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