Accredited ultrasound technician schools that teach echocardiography, also referred to as echo, training programs will focus on the use of ultrasound machinery and how it can be used to create images of the heart in order for a physician to diagnose, observe or analyze a medical condition.
How to find the Right Ultrasound School
Certificate programs for the echo specialty field are offered as continuing education courses and can be found useful for the student that has prior work experience or education in a related field. The associate’s degree program available for the echo field can prepare a student for an entry level position in this specialty area.
The certificate program will require the student to have completed a certificate program in ultrasound technology or hold a degree in a medical related field. This type of program can be completed in one year and involves courses in pathology, physiology and echocardiography tools used. The student can choose to take the certificate program that is offered for general echo or they can specialize in pediatrics or adult echo.
The associate’s degree is two years in length and will include general education courses that can be transferrable for a bachelor’s degree program. This program features classes in chemistry, biology, anatomy and physics as well as invasive cardiology and vascular technology. Basic courses for this field are also available and feature topics such as Doppler physics and ultrasound operations.
The bachelor’s degree for echocardiography is a four to five year program and also includes general education courses. This program will allow students to take specialty courses for such fields as renal sonography, vascular sonography and abdominal sonography. The amount of clinical training provided in the bachelor’s program will involve one year at twenty to thirty hours a week.
With a bachelor’s degree in echocardiography a graduate can work at a surgery center, imaging center or qualify for supervisory roles in a hospital. A bachelor’s degree also qualifies the technician for teaching positions in medical centers or colleges.
After completion of a certificate program or degree program the graduate will need to take the ARDMS certification exam in order to obtain their licensure as an ultrasound technician. Students that have taken additional certification courses for specialty areas will be required to take separate certification exams. Professionals in this field will need to obtain mandatory continuing education hours in order to qualify for their license renewal. CE hours can be obtained through courses found at local vocational schools or community colleges or you can find accredited online programs available through the ARDMS.
The ARDMS website also offers practice certification exams and listings of local schools that administer these tests, along with the dates and times of scheduled exams available locally.