How to Become a Cardiovascular Sonographer
By Space Coast Daily // March 23, 2020
When you hear the word sonographer, you usually imagine an ultrasound of the fetus. This is only one use of this amazing technology.
The use of ultrasound imaging has expanded to scan an entire human body. The other name given to the cardiac sonographer is echocardiographer.
A cardiac sonographer helps to analyze the cardiovascular system and communicate effectively results to the physician.
People who belong in this field use non-invasive cardiovascular technology. Cardiac sonographers use current medical technology equipment to help in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of the patients. This career requires the conveyance of scientific knowledge to doctors.
The cardiac sonographers are responsible for performing ultrasound imaging, echocardiograms. They are also required to assess the heart from different aspects.
It helps them to determine the functions of the valve, size of the chambers, and blood flow. Reviewing files of patients is also one of their responsibilities.
Ultrasound images help the doctors to understand the patient’s heart condition, but the work of cardiac sonographers is not limited to scanning images.
However, they do not perform the first-hand diagnosis of the patient’s health since this is the doctor’s role in the assessment.
Who can become a Cardiovascular Sonographer?
To become a cardiac sonographer, you must have specific professional and personal skills. A few of these are:
- An interest in anatomy and desire to learn the way a heart works
- A passion for caring for patients and for working towards their betterment in health
- Exceptional communication skills
- The ability to become a mediator between the physicians and the patients
- The aptitude for working on a team
- Career goals align with health-related field
What are the Requirements to Become a Cardiovascular Ultrasound Tech?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a person must complete an Associate’s Degree and become certified from a cardiovascular sonography school for this career. The pathway to becoming a cardiac sonographer includes the following steps:
Certification as a cardiac sonographer is a requirement for work in this field.
1) Completion of an Associate’s Degree. For example, City College in Florida has a Cardiovascular Sonography program. Their unique ability to merge the classroom learning with hands-on training in their Ultrasound Training Center sets their students up for several career opportunities upon graduation.
2) Obtaining a license that allows you to practice in the field. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is responsible for this. Certification as a cardiac sonographer is a requirement for work in this field.
What you will learn as you become a Cardiovascular Sonographer?
A mix of classroom theory and laboratory classes will help you grow. Clinical experience is essential in becoming a successful echocardiography technician. Generally, schools with cardiovascular sonography programs include the following:
- Working with physicians to gain practical knowledge on how to assist patients.
- Create cardiac images based on medical technology.
- How to interact with patients compassionately.
- How to perform cardiac ultrasounds with accuracy.
- How to create summaries, both oral and written, of the technical findings.
- How to convey these findings to physicians.
Employment of a Cardiovascular Sonographer
A cardiovascular sonographer earns an annual average salary of $56,850. It is According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report of 2018. The same reports also predict that this career will experience employment growth of up to 7%. That means that the cardiac sonographer has a bright future ahead of them.
What to Expect in a work environment for Cardiovascular Sonographer?
Hospitals are one of the leading employers for cardiac sonographers. Cardiac sonographers might have to work on weekends, evenings, and during holidays, so be prepared for these types of hours when entering this field.
When working in a hospital, cardiac sonographers are very active, and quick decision-making skills are essential for this career.
If the schedule of hospital work is too demanding for you, then working in private clinic settings might be your target. You will not have to work on-call since cardiac ultrasound techs working in clinics have a regular schedule.
The Important Job of a Cardiovascular Sonographer
- Cardiac sonographers save lives daily. You will be responsible for performing the highly technical imaging of the patient’s heart. It is through your scans that the physicians will be able to diagnose heart disease.
- Every day you will be able to learn something new. Not every case is the same. You will expose yourself to a variety of conditions that will allow you to progress as an echocardiography technician.
- Being an echocardiographer does not limit you to hospitals. The job possibilities are endless. You can work in clinics, imaging centers, or the offices of cardiologists.
- Once you become a certified sonographer, you will have a career in the medical field that will be able to support you and your family as your experience grows.
- The job outlook for cardiovascular sonographers is an advanced choice for a health career over other related health careers. Non-invasive diagnostic methods will increase in the future, which provides a very bright future for cardiovascular tech students.
- Becoming a cardiac sonographer will allow you to graduate before other professionals. It gives you a head start to your career before many of your peers. You will gain experience and progress towards increased roles in the places that you work.
Cardiac Sonographers are vital to the medical chain. Physicians depend on the non-invasive work of the cardiac ultrasound tech to accurately assess the heart. This critical career field is a crucial link between technology and practical skills.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., and opportunities for a cardiac sonographer are growing every year. Ultrasound technology is very safe and will continue to be a valuable tool as medical teams around the world depend on skilled technicians to administer these procedures.
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