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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Cardiac Sonography

Majors Overview March 3, 2014

Cardiac sonography refers to the use of sound waves to capture images of patients’ cardiovascular systems.

A.S. Programs in Cardiac Sonography

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program in cardiac sonography are introduced to the rudimentary concepts of medical imaging and diagnostics; the program also comprises of additional coursework with particular relevance to the cardiovascular system. Prospective students should enroll in an accredited associate degree program in cardiac sonography that they can use as preparation for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Exam.

Coursework in the program includes both classroom lectures and clinical studies, wherein they are taught the rudimentary concepts of cardiovascular systems and human anatomy. They are also imparted technical training in the operation of echocardiography equipment. Through programs in the field students are also provided with a background in communication skills, patient care techniques and health care procedures and policies.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria related to many associate’s degree programs in cardiac sonography require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, in addition to being extremely fluent in the English language; incoming students are also expected to pass a college placement exam. Proof of immunization records is also required to be shown before admission to this program in the health care field.

Coursework

Coursework in the primary year of an associate’s degree program in cardiac sonography covers rudimentary concepts of echocardiograph machines, patient care and medical imaging. During the second year, the program focuses more on imparting practical training through clinical experiences. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Ultrasound physics
•Basics of medical imaging
•Cardiac hemodynamic
•Cardiac pathophysiology
•Cardiac sonography clinical practicum
•Patient care
•Anatomy and physiology
•Vascular ultrasound
•Echocardiograph

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, over 110,400 individuals were employed as diagnostic medical sonographers in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2012, general sonographers took home an average annual wage of $60,350 (BLS). In 2013, cardiac sonographers were estimated to have earned around $59,000 in average annual wages.

Certification Choices

Diagnostic medical sonographers through the American Registry can seek professional certification for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) that additionally offers specific credentials for sonographers dealing with cardiovascular systems. Sonographers in the field can seek registration as fetal echocardiographers, child echocardiographers, or adult echocardiographers.

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