ATI - For More Than 30 Years
Mark Swees, FHRS, CCDS, CEPS, RCES
Founder and Professor Emeritus
Founder and President of Arrhythmia Technologies Institute, Mark Sweesy received a BS in Biology from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He then completed two years of postgraduate work in invasive cardiology in Fairfax, Virginia. Mark has more than 40 years of experience with cardiac devices, including supervising follow-up clinics, consulting and education, and has more than 100 publications in the CRM/EP field.
The Arrhythmia Technologies Institute was established to provide comprehensive formal training in the field of cardiac device technology. For more than twenty five years the Arrhythmia Technologies Institute has provided a formal curriculum to train associated professionals in the rapidly advancing field of cardiac device technology. Worldwide, this school is the first of its kind to offer a comprehensive program dedicated to the discipline of cardiac pacing, defibrillation, cardiac resynchronization therapy and electrophysiology.
Founded in 1987 by Mark Sweesy, Dr. Robert Batey and Richard Forney, PhD, the school’s original name was The Pacemaker Systems Technology School (The Pacer School) and was located at the Robert L. Batey Cardiology Center and L.W. Blake Hospital in Bradenton, Florida. The school was moved to Greenville, South Carolina in June 1997, to take advantage of both the rich electrophysiology community and the exceptional cooperation from numerous clinical training sites in the area.
ATI is dedicated solely to training individuals in the specialized profession of cardiac device technology and cardiac electrophysiology. ATI’s faculty has more than 80 combined years of cardiac rhythm management experience. Historically, training in this field occurred on the job for nurses, cardiopulmonary technologists or physician’s assistants who became involved in cardiac device therapy because of their interest and the need for someone to actuate clinical applications of cardiac device therapy. Typically, the manufacturers’ sales representatives are the personnel involved in assisting with cardiac device implants, programming and troubleshooting. Expertise in implantation, interrogation, programming and troubleshooting these very sophisticated cardiac devices requires hundreds of hours of dedicated training. Students who graduate from ATI have the training required to fill this highly skilled position. Graduates of ATI are Certified Cardiac Device Specialists. Certification by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) is also available for both the Cardiac Device Specialty and Electrophysiology Specialty for Allied Health Care Professionals by successfully passing an exam given by the IBHRE.
ATI is a 501C-3 non-profit school, licensed by the State of South Carolina, rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and is a member of the Greenville Greater Chamber of Commerce.
Hands On Learning
To foster success we have hands on learning equipment from Biosense Webster (Carto 3), Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Biotronik and Sorin Medical. We have four separate simulator laboratories, including 45 programmers, 40 heart simulators and hundreds of live devices. Students will also participate in routine simulated implant labs, promoting learning in a controlled environment.
Our students will also participate in a pig heart dissection lab, enabling them to have hands on experience coupled with classroom lecture on the anatomy of the heart.
Students will go out in the community for their clinical rotations, participating in follow-up checks at cardiology clinics and observing live implants at affiliated hospitals. ATI, the device clinicians, industry representatives, hospital staff, physicians and ATI Alumni work together as a team to mentor students. Students may end up seeing as many as 100 cases prior to completion of the Cardiac Device Specialist Program.
Job Placement Assistance
Many schools charge a “finder’s fee” to prospective employers. Our job placement assistance program is provided free of charge for the prospective employer to assist in generating the interest in our students’ success which they deserve.
ATI’s International Impact
ATI’s influence and impact is international with alumni from Alaska to Germany to Australia. ATI provides training abroad from Panama to Moscow and also has published textbooks in foreign languages. ATI’s international lectures provide much needed critical medical training around the world for international students and professionals.
Arrhythmia Technologies Institute’s mission is to educate students by combining dynamic, rigorous academic study with field-based experience in the disciplines of cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology. ATI seeks distinction by promoting patient care, stewarding the education of the device management specialist and creating mutually beneficial partnerships with health care and medical device companies.
ATI seeks to accomplish this mission by:
- Improving the quality of patient care and the efficiency of health care delivery through education
- Encouraging ethical and patient-centric decision-making and behavior by instilling a sense of social responsibility in each student
- Creating an environment that fosters intellectual and personal development of students
- Engaging in a curriculum that provides our students academic and clinical instruction in electrophysiology to prepare them for successful interactions in the EP lab environment
- Emphasizing field-based experiences firmly grounded in theory through exposure to simulation laboratories, live device implantations and device follow-up clinics
- Providing training on multiple pacing systems analyzers and programmers to ensure students are able to perform complicated programming sequences, data retrieval and interpretation to make clinical assessments
- Designing custom continuing education programs for industry personnel and medical professionals