Certificate programs in diagnostic cardiac sonography offer training alongside experienced professionals in using sonography equipment and can give instruction about the anatomy and function of the heart. Most programs are held in a school's medical center or in conjunction with a hospital to allow students' access to a clinical setting for practical coursework. Common prerequisites to these programs include prior work experience, a criminal background check and a health screening.
Certificate in Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography
Entry into a cardiac sonography program may require previous college-level coursework in anatomy, English, physiology, medical terminology, physics and algebra. The curriculum of a certificate program focuses on providing extensive work with professionals in the field of cardiac sonography to allow students to gain experience in performing diagnostic procedures and learn how to function in the role of sonographer. Students also study the anatomy of the heart and the equipment used in cardiac sonography. Common courses include:
- Stress testing
- Cardiac physiology
- Patient assessments
- Heart disease
- Abnormal heart functions
A diagnostic cardiac sonography certificate program is designed to prepare graduates for work with sonography equipment in the field of cardiac health care. Graduates of a program may become diagnostic medical sonographers to provide non-invasive cardiac testing. Sonographers may work in different medical environments, including:
- Medical clinics
- Independent cardiac testing centers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for diagnostic medical sonographers are projected to increase by 26% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the BLS estimated the median salary of these imaging professionals was $70,880.
Sonographers are not required to be licensed, but they may choose to become certified. Certification is available through professional organizations, such as the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Monographers.
Diagnostic cardiac sonography certificate programs are geared toward experienced medical professionals who would like to learn about the structure, diseases of and functions of the heart and become trained on sonography equipment. Graduates can find employment in several medical environments and have the option to obtain certification since they aren't required to be licensed.