Cardiovascular Sonography (Echocardiography) Technician AAS Degree
The Cardiovascular Sonography AAS program offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree specialized in Cardiovascular Sonography which meets the Cardiac Credentialing International ("CCI"), and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography ("ARDMS") requirements for graduates pursuing CCI and ARDMS certification. The entire program is designed to thoroughly prepare the student, through quality lecture, laboratory, and clinical externship instruction in the theoretical knowledge, skills, and responsibilities required to work in the allied medical field as an entry level Cardiac Sonographer. The successful program graduate will be able to perform appropriate echocardiography scanning examinations and procedures, and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data for interpretation by a physician. The graduate will also be able to obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results. In addition, the graduate will be prepared to exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic diagnostic services, provide appropriate and compassionate patient care for patients undergoing imaging examinations, demonstrate excellent communication skills with patients and other health care professionals, and act in an ethical and professional manner.
Class Structure and Delivery:
All lectures are delivered in a blended format. Blended courses combine traditional face-to-face classroom instruction with (remote) live-streamed lectures to optimize the learning experience and offer additional time flexibility to those students with busy schedules or long commutes. It is also through in-class lab where students will gain more knowledge, skills and confidence to perform actual medical diagnostics in various settings to prepare them for real medical diagnostics during the clinical rotations.
Upon completion of the program, the successful student will be able to:
1. Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
2. Pre-select the ideal settings for equipment to best get the results needed.
3. Record, analyze, and process diagnostic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician.
4. Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of Cardiovascular Sonography.
5. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills with patients, colleagues and physicians.
6. Act in a professional and ethical manner.
7. Provide patient education related to Cardiovascular Sonography and promote principles of good health.
Program Completion Time
Associate Degree - 26 months / 106 weeks / 2630 hours
Why a Career in Echocardiography?
The field of Cardiovascular Sonography ("Echo") is growing significantly over the past decade and rapidly developing the technology used for medical procedures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth is projected to continue in the future with employment opportunities in urban and rural areas across the nation with an increase in demand and popularity. Typical areas of employment include clinics, hospitals, private physician offices, imaging centers and laboratories. Extensive advancement opportunities exist in areas of education, research or as technical advisors.
Cardiovascular Sonography can be right for you if:
- You are already working or have a background in diagnostic medical sonography OR,
- You DO NOT have any background in ultrasound or imaging, but you are fascinated by technological advancements in medical imaging.
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Q&A of Becoming a Cardiovascular Sonography (Echo) Technician
Do I need a High School Diploma to register in the cardiovascular program?
Yes. Having obtained basic General Education from an accredited and verifiable institution, shows you have a basic level of comprehension to absorb the information given in lectures and during lab practice. There are ways you can still achieve your High School or GED education while enrolled at NPC but it really depends on your academic history. Every case is different and it is highly recommended that you speak to an admissions representative to help create the right path towards your success.
Do I need an Associate Degree to become a Cardiovascular Technician?
An Associate in Applied Science degree is NOT required to become eligible for registry examination through CCI or ARDMS, however, having a degree not only gives you the "upper-hand" when it comes to applying to desirable positions in the field, but it also further prepares you to communicate in a professional manner and enhance your abilities analyze complex situations within a medical setting. Keep in mind, if an employer has three applications for your position and only one application has higher education than core training, who is the employer more likely to hire?
Is a license required to become a Cardiovascular Technician?
This is a big NO. Unlike many other professions in the medical field, the State of California does not issue licenses for Cardiovascular Sonography Technicians and does not require obtaining a certification in order to be employed. Be wary of any institution which informs you a “license” is required. On the other hand, NOT having a certification from registries like CCI or ARDMS reduces your chances of obtaining considerable employment opportunities. Obtaining any of these certifications -or better yet, both of them- is not as easy as simply attending school and it requires trained professionals who know the certification process to ensure you reach your ultimate goal.
How long is the program at NPC and why do different schools have Echo programs that vary in length?
The length of any Echo program depends on class schedule and thoroughness of the program. Depending on your academic history, type of completion award, and credits needed, the entire program at NPCollege can take between 22-27 months in order to fully prepare you for externship, registry testing, and future employment challenges.
Can I transfer credits from another school to take the cardiovascular program at NPCollege?
Yes. You may transfer General Education credits from your current or previous accredited college. You may also challenge some of the cardiovascular introductory classes for additional credits. To do this, you can submit your prior school’s unofficial transcripts or proof of past related work experience for an evaluation.
Can NPCollege credits be transferred to another institution?
The transferability of credits you earn at NPCollege is at the complete discretion of the institution to which you seek to transfer to. Acceptance of the degree, diploma, or certificate you earn in your educational program at NPCollege is also at the complete discretion of the institution of the accepting Institution. For this reason, you should make certain that your attendance at NPCollege will meet your educational goals.
How can I submit an application for NPCollege's Cardiovascular Sonography program?
Before we look into any application, NPCollege does require you to schedule a meeting with the admissions office to further review your academic background, and your goals. This allows us to make recommendations on the program that best meets your goals in the fastest amount of time possible, to achieve the best results.