Cardiovascular Technologist Programs in Michigan

Echo Techs, or echocardiography technicians, are healthcare professionals who are trained in the performance of non-invasive cardiac ultrasound to produce digital and video images of the heart chambers, valves and vessels. These results aid the cardiologist to diagnose and treat heart patients.

The work of the echo tech is highly technical and requires knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathology and ultrasound physics. The echo tech must also have the mechanical aptitude and dexterity to handle the equipment, be a problem solver to determine for each patient the optimum diagnostic results needed, and provide proper and optimal patient care.

There are different routes to becoming an echo tech in Michigan, and you can learn about them all by reaching out to schools for program information.

Echo Tech/Cardiac Ultrasound Education in Michigan

Echo tech training is provided by state universities and community colleges and by private colleges in Michigan. You will find the program under one of the following names: cardiovascular technology, cardiac sonography, diagnostic medical sonography or vascular sonography.

If you are just out of high school and want to aim for an entry level position as an echo tech, the Associate degree program may be a good path to explore. This will be a two year program of classroom instruction, hands-on training in imaging labs and clinical experience in actual hospital or other medical settings. Upon graduating, you will qualify to take a credentialing examination given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) .

If you already have an associate degree and/or have worked in a healthcare setting, you can apply for an Advanced Certificate program which will provide concentrated courses in vascular sonography to qualify you for the registry exams. This is a four-five semester program and includes an online provision.

You can also find bachelor’s degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography. Applicants are typically screened for physical, sensory and mental capabilities. Students must complete 65-66 semester credit hours in the major and acquire 1456 hours of clinical experience to graduate.

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Several of the Michigan Echo Tech programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which assures you that the training is up-to-date and approved by the federally recognized accrediting organization for this profession. You would also want to check what the graduation and job placement rates are for the programs you are considering.

Sonography programs are hands-on intensive, and the availability of clinical facilities as well as the individual attention required by faculty can limit the number of students that can be admitted. As a result, admission into the program may be highly selective. Besides your high school diploma or GED, letters of recommendation, personal statement and resume, the admissions committee will ,likely examine your application carefully to see whether you show promise for succeeding in this program and career.

Some programs require experience in health care work or volunteer experience beyond the minimum standards. They will also look at grades in English, math and science courses in high school and previous college work. Most programs will require at least one semester of college work in certain prerequisite courses, and may have a B or B- standard for grades in these courses.

It is to your advantage to study the admissions standards carefully for the program you select and to prepare your application to highlight your strengths that qualify you for this career. You might even do volunteer work or take online courses to enhance your case. You should also prepare for the admissions interview by thinking through why you want to enter this field and what strengths you feel you bring to the profession.

Below are some of the kinds of courses that you may be taking in a cardiovascular technology program:

  • Vascular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • Vascular Medical Terminology
  • Cardiac Pharmacology
  • Fundamentals of Sonography
  • Ultrasound Physics
  • Cardiac Sonography
  • Patient Care and Assessment
  • Basic Medical Electronics & Instrumentation
  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures in Echocardiography

Salary and Job Outlook for Echo Technicians in Michigan

The national average annual wage in 2013 for Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians was $53,990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In Michigan, this average was $51,050. The areas in the state showing salaries at the high end were Detroit–$52,700, Ann Arbor–$53,130 and Lansing/East Lansing–$56,890.

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Career opportunities in the healthcare field are expected to expand at a fast rate due to the increased demands for medical service by the retiring baby boomer population and the millions newly insured through the Affordable Care Act. BLS predicted that Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians will see a much faster than average job growth of 39 percent between 2012 and 2022. When you graduate and become registered as an Echo Tech, you will qualify for jobs in hospitals, clinics, private practice groups, public health facilities, laboratories and other medical settings.

Reach out to the echo tech schools in Michigan to learn more about your options for entering this career.