At echocardiography schools, students prepare for careers as sonographers through a combination of theoretical and laboratory coursework. Also referred to as ultrasound technicians, these professionals work primarily in hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers where they use specialized equipment to take detailed, visual images of organs, tissues and blood flow. At cardiac sonography schools, students have the option of specializing in the ultrasound of the heart and blood vessels, while diagnostic echocardiography schools provide a more generalized education – including ultrasound techniques of the heart, abdomen, pelvis and reproductive system.
Students at the American College for Medical Careers have the ability to choose between either a diagnostic or cardiovascular sonography program. Both programs are offered in a blended format – with theoretical classes offered online and laboratory work completed on campus. Students in both programs have the option of earning either an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s degree in their chosen field.
Sonography School Curriculum
Although the curriculum at cardiac sonography schools is focused primarily on the heart and blood vessels, the programs at both cardiac and diagnostic echocardiography schools share many similarities.
At ACMC, students in both sonography programs begin their training by developing a background in the field. Some of the topics covered in these courses include the history of ultrasound, medical legal issues, medical terminology, ethics and basic anatomy and physiology. Students will begin their hands-on training during this time to help them learn how to interact with patients in a clinical environment.
Through the core courses, students in the sonography programs develop a deeper understanding of the field. Required courses include theoretical training in:
- Doppler physics
- Ultrasound instrumentation
- Sonography techniques
- Emerging technologies
- Disease pathology
Students will also spend a great deal of time in the on-campus lab, where they’ll gain hands-on experience with ultrasound equipment, scanning protocols, identifying structures and pathology recognition.