Being an echocardiographer can be a rewarding career
Within the field of healthcare, there is a wide range of job opportunities. Nurses and doctors are the first professions that might come to mind, but there are many more professions in this field. One of the behind-the-scenes jobs that you may not always think about is that of the sonographer.
Sonographers are medical professionals who use ultrasound technology to take images of the human body. Sonographers are probably best known for doing ultrasounds for pregnant women, but ultrasounds are also used for imaging many parts of the body, including the abdomen, breast, brain, and heart.
This article explores the career path of a Cardiovascular Sonographer. Cardiovascular sonographers are responsible for using ultrasound to examine a patient’s heart. The ultrasound images can reveal the chambers of the heart, as well as the valves, walls, and vessels. With this information, the cardiologist can diagnosis heart conditions and provide the right treatment for their patients.
What do cardiovascular sonographers do on the job?
Cardiovascular sonographers—also called echocardiographers--are important medical professionals. They help cardiologists with diagnosing heart conditions, which is often the first step toward providing life-saving treatments. On a typical day on the job, an echocardiographer might:
- Prepare patients for exams and ensure that equipment is ready
- Perform echocardiograms, including 3D echocardiograms
- Take images of heart chambers and the structures of the circulatory system
- Assist surgeons during interventional procedures such as percutaneous valve replacement
- Read and report findings to the cardiologist
How do I become a cardiovascular sonographer?
Cardiovascular sonographers need to complete special training. In most cases, programs require that you have at least an associate’s degree before entering the training. Once you have satisfied these admissions requirements, the training to be a cardiovascular sonographer typically takes less than two years. After your training, you will want to prepare for a credentialing exam in order to become a registered technologist.
What should I look for in a training program?
If you are considering applying to a training program, be sure to do your research. You should ask:
- Is the program accredited?
- How long has the school offered this program?
- What is the job placement rate after graduation?
- Does the school offer a degree (such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)?
- Is the lab up-to-date? Will I get hands-on experience?
- How long does the program take to complete?
- What is the class schedule?
- Does the school accept financial aid?
What is the job outlook for cardiovascular sonographers?
The job outlook for this career field is positive, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The handbook says, “Employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Keep in mind that this is a national projection. You may also want to check out your particular region of the country. You can search through job postings and to see if there are a good number of positions available. This at least gives you a sense of the job market in your area.
We hope these quick facts have helped you learn more about this career path. If you think that becoming a cardiovascular sonographer is a good career choice for you, try reading 5 Reasons to Become a Cardiac Sonographer. Remember, this field plays a critical role in the healthcare industry. It is a career that could make you proud!
The American College for Medical Careers, located in Orlando, Florida, offers a Cardiovascular Sonography program as well as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer program. To find out more, contact us online!