Aspiring echocardiography (ECG) technicians can enroll in an Echocardiography Technician Certificate program. Students work in hospital and classroom laboratories as they learn how to operate scanning equipment and develop instrumental techniques. They also learn how to control infection, perform proper safety procedures, work with patients, and maintain sanitized conditions. Applicants must have an associate's degree in science, nursing, health science, or related area. An internship must be completed for graduation. These programs are suited to prepare students for entry-level employment in hospitals, diagnostic imaging labs, or other healthcare facilities.
Two states now require licensure for echocardiographers. Certifications are also available to qualified individuals.
Certificate in Echocardiography
Certificate programs in echocardiography are vocational in nature and are designed for students who already have a basic understanding of health science. Specific training courses might include:
- EKG patterns
- Patient safety regulations
- Arrhythmia recognition
- Holter monitoring
- Cardiac ultrasound exams
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including ECG technicians, is expected to grow by about 22% from 2014 to 2024. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $54,880 in May 2015.
The American Society of Echocardiography says that the industry is just starting to be regulated with New Mexico and Oregon requiring echocardiographers to obtain licensure. Other states will probably follow. Some states have echocardiography registry requirements for professionals who conduct stress echoes.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) does offer designations in adult echocardiography, fetal echocardiography and pediatric echocardiography. It also offers a Vascular Technology (VT) designation. In addition, CCI (Cardiovascular Credentialing International) administers the Certified Cardiographic Technician credential for individuals working stress testing, Holter monitoring, and EKG.
Echocardiography technician certificate programs teach students to capture pictures of patients' hearts and cardiovascular systems. Topics of study include heart monitoring and examination, safety protocols and sanitation, instrumentation operation and patient communication.