Students enrolled in cardiac sonography programs usually earn a 1-year certificate or a 2-year associate's degree in cardiac sonography or echocardiography. Cardiac sonography or echocardiology might also be areas of concentration in a 2- or 4-year degree program. Bachelor's degree programs are usually in radiologic sciences.
Course concepts in these types of programs include:
- Cardiac anatomy
- Cardiovascular scanning techniques
- Diagnostic ultrasound procedures
- Doppler technology tools
- Cardiac diseases
These programs generally qualify students for professional certification and employment, as well as continued professional development in this field.
List of Sonography Courses
Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology Course
Lessons on veins, arteries and basic terminology relating to the cardiovascular system will be covered. How the cardiovascular system works and what controls is are among the main topics addressed in this type of course. Some programs might present these topics as two separate course: Cardiac Anatomy and Cardiac Physiology.
Ultrasound Physics Course
This class examines ultrasound technology and how it works. Students learn how sound waves are issued from diagnostic ultrasound tools. They explore how sound waves move through the body, measuring their frequency and velocity to create a reflective picture of the heart and its function. Didactic and clinical learning about ultrasound transducers and diagnostics, along with image storage and retrieval, takes place in this class.
Duplex, pulsed and continuous wave Doppler technology is used in measuring hemodynamics. The characteristics of hemodynamic abnormalities and how they're reflected in Doppler imaging are discussed. Students learn to analyze the color flow and spectral waves recorded with Doppler tools to determine normal and abnormal cardiac blood flow and possible pathologies.
In this class, lectures, classroom demonstrations and labs cover general examining procedures for non-invasive adult procedures. Coursework includes how to perform resting and stress tests and the use of contrast agents in testing. Diagnostic processes and scan techniques are addressed. Students will learn how to recognize possible signs of cardiac disease using an echocardiogram.