This article provides an overview of echocardiography training and careers paths that one can follow upon completion of the education and training requirements. Echocardiography is a health care field of practice that uses ultrasound to assess cardiovascular anatomy. Likewise, a cardiac sonographer is specially trained in the field of echo to performs the exam. Cardiac sonographers work closely with patients throughout the medical procedure to operate ultrasound equipment which collects reflected echoes and Doppler signals from images and spectral tracings of the heart. Cardiac sonographers and physicians work together as a team during the echo procedure to accurately integrate data in order to arrive at optimal diagnoses.
Echocardiography Education and Training
Before enrolling in an Echocardiography Training course, it is important to familiarize oneself with the different training programs and various requirements. Echocardiography is all about using sonograms to make a deep study of a person’s heart. This is a procedure that is non-invasive and makes use of ultrasound technologies to help in assessing the function as well as structure of the human heart.
Once you finish your Echocardiography Training, you will become an echocardiographer (also known as cardiac sonographers and even echo techs). These are professionals that are medically qualified technicians will be specializing in the operation of ultrasound equipment for use in echocardiography.
Training requirements and other recommendations include needing to have an associate degree in cardiac sonography. In addition to this qualification, you will also need to have voluntary certifications in this particular field.
At the very least, it is important that you have the ability to follow instructions as given by a physician and you will also need to be good at communicating with patients regarding different echocardiography related procedures. In addition to these requirements, it is also necessary to be proficient in operating echocardiography related equipment. Courses may include:
- Echocardiography Foundations
- Medical Terminology
- Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology
- Vascular Imaging
- Ultrasound Physics
- Clinical Rotation (Practicum)
Before you can be admitted to an Echocardiography Training course, you need to have an associate degree program in any Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs degree program. During the course of the training, students will get to obtain some clinical experience. As a beginner in echocardiography, you will need to work closely with professionals and in this way you can obtain more hands on experience.
The good news is that you do not need to have any licenses in order to work as an echocardiographer. There is however nothing wrong with pursuing voluntary certification via the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. To obtain more knowledge, you should also plan on attending different workshops as well as seminars.
Once you are qualified as an echocardiographer, you will find that it will open up many avenues for you. Once you have obtained your degree, you can work with doctors in the most advanced operating environments and you will also get a chance to use the very best in echocardiography equipment. You will become proficient in reading echocardiography results and you will also know how to explain these results to patients.
In order to grow as an echocardiographer, it is important to have better than average interpersonal skills and you must also be assured enough to make the patient feel safe and more relaxed under your care. There is good earning potential for those who have successfully completed their echocardiography training.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median annual wage of cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists was $49,410 in 2010 (BLS). The lowest 10 percent earned below $26,610 while the top 10% made over $77,020. The employment is expected to grow by 29% from 2010 to 2020.