Cardiovascular (Echo) Technologist Degrees and Career in Alabama
Overview of Cardiovascular Tech (Echocardiography) Programs in Alabama
Although sonography is usually associated with ultrasounds given during pregnancy, the technology and its use of sound waves are employed for a variety of diagnostic purposes. One of the more specialized imaging procedures includes echocardiography, where a technician uses a device called a transducer to create an image of the patient’s internal organs.
If you have an interest in working in healthcare in Alabama, you may want to investigate cardiac ultrasound programs in Alabama due to recent and rapid growth in health care. Contact those schools you see below to learn more about your options for becoming an echocardiogram tech in Alabama.
As an echo tech, you can also have a meaningful impact on a patient’s medical experience. For example, according to an article in U.S. News, ultrasounds may help diagnose and measure aneurysms. Monitoring abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) is one of the best ways to prevent a medical emergency like an aortic dissection, which is a tear in the aorta’s wall.
To get an idea of what is expected of professional echo techs and industry standards for diagnostic medical sonography, essential reading includes information from the Joint Review Commission on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Additional valuable information comes from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Echo Tech and Cardiac Ultrasound Programs in Alabama
Alabama offers a variety of accredited programs leading to degrees that include a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree, as well as opportunities to take classes online during study. Programs usually take between three semesters for associate’s degrees and up to four years for bachelor’s degrees. Students in high school with an interest in becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer may want to take extra science classes before graduation in areas like biology and anatomy, as well as extra mathematics courses.
Typical courses in a cardiac ultrasound program in Alabama include medical technology courses like abdominal sonography, sonographic instrumentation, as well as general medical courses in human anatomy, biology, and physiology. Schools offering ultrasound programs vary from pubic, midsize schools to rural schools, and Alabama residents are often eligible for discounts on costs through in-state tuition rates.
If you are seeking scholarships may want to investigate the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Foundation, which offers the SDMS Foundation Sonography Student Scholarship Program. This $2,500 scholarship is offered to a student currently enrolled in an accredited cardiovascular technology program.
Echo Technician Careers in Alabama
As a graduate of a cardiac ultrasound program in Alabama, you may find work in healthcare settings like diagnostic laboratories, as well as physician’s offices or hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for diagnostic medical sonographers is $60,350 a year, which works out to just over $29 an hour.
In addition, the national job outlook is expected to be very positive, with the BLS estimating 39 percent growth of jobs in echocardiography and related technologies over the next decade. Within Alabama, the governor recently announced job gains in the health services sector, which confirms the BLS’s estimates of future job growth in the medical field. In addition, the governor’s report revealed healthy job growth for jobs earning more than $45,000 a year, which is encouraging if you are seeking better wages in solid industries like healthcare.
Although Alabama doesn’t require its cardiac ultrasound technicians to get licensed, most healthcare facilities prefer job applicants with membership in one or both of the nation’s licensing bodies. As a future graduate, you should investigate membership and certification with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), as well as certification with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Take some time to reach out to the cardiac ultrasound schools in Alabama that offer echo tech programs to learn more.