Echocardiography is used to take images of the heart known as ECGs or EKGs. While many echo technicians are trained on the job, some choose to attend echo technician training programs that offer a series of courses in the subject.
Echocardiography training programs typically take two years or less to complete. Upon completion, students may take certification exams to become licensed to perform their technician duties without supervision. Programs are offered at a few colleges as specialized, certificate training programs; however, some of the classes are available through more common associate degree programs, such as radiologic technology or ultrasound technology.
Relevant echo technician classes are offered through academic programs in fields like echocardiography, ultrasound technology, cardiovascular technology and diagnostic medical sonography. Some of the most common courses cover:
- Medical Terminology
- Basic Anatomy
- Diagnostic Medical Equipment
- Medical Legal Issues and Patient Care
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List of Echo Technician Courses
Introductory echo technician courses focus on core medical topics, such as medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry and physics. Students gain basic, foundational knowledge designed to prepare them for work in the healthcare system.
Students learn how to apply their theoretical knowledge of echo technology. Basic EKG usage is emphasized which allows students to trace electrical impulses transmitted by a patient's heart and obtain readings from those traces that can then be used for diagnostic purposes. Courses at this level also teach communication skills designed to improve echo technician interaction with both patients and physicians.
Advanced echo technician courses see students spending large amounts of time in clinical rotations at hospitals and health care facilities. At this stage, training specific to invasive, noninvasive or vascular diagnostics is provided. Students practice taking EKG measurements and interpreting the information gathered. They also use the Holter monitor and stress testing tools and learn the analysis techniques used to determine the heart's overall health.
Cardiovascular and EKG
Students study images of the heart in various stages of heart disease. They interpret the images and sounds of suffering hearts with beginning to advanced problems, such as arrhythmias, hypertrophies and myocardial infarctions. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in setting up and using EKG equipment.