Echocardiology and vascular technology courses may be offered as part of associate's or bachelor's degree programs. They can also be found through postsecondary certificate programs in echocardiography, vascular sonography, diagnostic medical sonography and related fields. Practitioners in these professions are usually required to take continuing education classes to keep up with technological developments. Knowledge of current technology used in this field, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology are a must for practitioners. Here are some common concepts found in echo vascular courses:
- Diagnostic and surgical procedures
- Analyzing the nervous system
- Understanding the body's chemistry and cellular structure
- Muscle tissue
- High-frequency sound waves
- Technical skills regarding hemodynamics
- Physics of sonography
List of Echo Vascular Courses
Medical Terminology Course
Most postsecondary echo vascular programs require that students enroll in this class if they haven't already completed it as an undergraduate student. Medical terminology classes give students the fundamental vocabulary skills necessary for communication with doctors and other medical professionals. This class includes lessons on common prefixes and suffixes for medical terms in addition to straight definitions.
Anatomy and Physiology Course
Echo vascular courses usually begin with an anatomy and physiology class, which are mandatory for graduation from any sonography degree or certificate program. Students spend extra time concentrating on the body parts most commonly examined by sonogram. This class is usually comprised of classroom learning and demonstrations, plus lab work. Some programs offer cross-sectional anatomy studies as part of this class.
In this class, students approach the field of sonography through lectures and labs. This class offers a comprehensive study of non-invasive ultrasound imaging techniques such as duplex and Doppler. Students learn to diagnose and assess common vascular conditions. They also practice with ultrasound machines, transducers and related tools. This course explores how ultrasound functions, from wave physics and transmission to attenuation and bioeffects.
Vascular Technology Course
This class covers the anatomy and physiology of the vascular system, as well as how it can be monitored using ultrasound instruments. Students learn about blood flow in arteries and veins, with special attention paid to the arms and legs, abdominal region, carotid artery and subclavian arteries. Students are also introduced to basic vascular pathologies. They practice administering ultrasound exams and evaluating the results. Courses also teach students how to calibrate medical instruments and correctly position patients during exams in order to achieve accurate readings and measurements.
The focus of this required echocardiography course is the anatomy and physiology of the heart. Students learn how to perform M-mode, 2D and 3D examinations of the heart through classroom lectures and lab practice. Doppler wave exam elements are introduced, including continuous wave, color flow and pulse. Students practice applying these to measure normal and abnormal heart function. They also learn how to administer an echocardiogram, from correct calibration and equipment usage to patient placement during exams.