Cardiovascular Technologist Programs in DC
The District of Columbia is smaller than most states, but there are still many cardiac ultrasound employment options. Cardiac Ultrasound Technicians (also called cardiac sonographers) are in a field that is rapidly growing due to its cost-effective, non-invasive methods of diagnosing heart conditions and abnormalities.
If you work in the field of cardiac ultrasound, you will need to develop a deeper understanding of the human heart and how heart disease is effectively diagnosed and treated. You will learn to operate imaging equipment that creates images or conducts tests, as well as assist with procedures to correct malformations and blockages, in some instances.
Due to the size of Washington DC, there are fewer campus based programs than many states, however, there are several accredited online cardiac ultrasound programs to choose from. Contact those schools you see below to learn more about your options.
To become a Cardiac ultrasound technologist you can get a certificate or an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the field.
Echo Tech Cardiac/Ultrasound Programs in Washington DC
George Washington University offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Sonography. You may transfer into this program once you have completed a minimum of 60 college credits. Or you can enroll in the ultrasound technician certificate program if you have an Associate’s degree in an applied healthcare area. George Washington University also has a large research department, making it easy to stay abreast of current ultrasound technology as you study.
The admissions requirements for most Bachelor’s or Certificate programs in Cardiac Ultrasound and Echocardiography include completing an application and entrance essay.
Once you have completed the core courses for an Associate’s degree, the curriculum for a Bachelor’s or certificate typically includes:
- Ultrasound and echocardiograph basics
- Anatomy and how the heart works
- Understanding the cardiovascular system
- Diseases of the heart
- Patient care
- Medical terminology
The echocardiography technician certificate program takes between 12 and 14 months if you attend full time. As a cardiac specialist you will study the anatomy of the heart, and you will learn how to conduct and analyze cardiac scans and echocardiograms.
Some people choose to get a Master’s degree in this field, which can prepare you for leadership roles in cardiac ultrasound. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American College of Radiology are each good sources of information and networking to check into if you are planning for a long term leadership career in the field of ultrasonography.
When you have graduated, it is important to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (ARDMS) certification examination. While Washington DC does not require you to have an ultrasound license, employers will consider your education but also your credential. The ARDMS association is a globally recognized organization as this exam proves your competency. The cost of the exam is $200 or $250, depending on your particular certification. They also have practice tests and study modules to help you pass the exam.
Echo Tech Careers in Washington DC
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or Cardiovascular Technologist earned an average income of $60,350 in 2013. The expected job growth for Cardiac Technologists and Medical Sonographers is 39 percent by 2022.
Many sonographers work in hospitals, but there are jobs in outpatient centers, doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities. As an echo tech, you will have a degree of specialization that may open up additional opportunities within physicians’ offices or specialty hospitals.
There is also an association for ultrasound technicians called Association of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. They promote and educate their members and the medical community, offering professional resources that can boost your knowledge and career.
Becoming a Cardiac Sonographer is an exciting career where you earn a good salary, have job security, and work with patients that need your care. Contact the schools you see on our site to learn more about your options for study.
District Of Columbia
George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Science in Sonography
Sonography Certificate Program