Cardiovascular Technologist Programs in Nebraska
Cardiac Sonography or Echocardiography is a noninvasive procedure for producing ultrasound images of a patient’s heart structure and for assessing cardiac functions. These images enable the cardiologist to diagnose and treat disorders affecting the cardiovascular system. Echo techs must work effectively with patients and have a thorough knowledge of anatomy and imaging to produce the reports needed. Accuracy with details, critical thinking skills, manual dexterity and communication skills are required to do the job well.
If you are an organized and detail oriented person drawn to technical work, but also like the idea of helping patients and working in a medical setting, echocardiography is an established but growing field that can be challenging and rewarding. Below are the training possibilities for this field in Nebraska. Contact the schools you see below to learn more about your options.
Echo Tech/Cardiac Ultrasound Education in Nebraska
There are three campus based schools in Nebraska with training at different levels for Echo Tech or Cardiac Sonography. The programs are outlined below, and you may also want to look into online cardiovascular sonography options as well, to make sure you are fully informed about your options.
A two-year Associate of Science Cardiovascular Sonography program is offered for Nebraska echo techs. This program of 77 credit hours requires full time attendance over four semesters plus a summer semester between the first and second year. Prior to entry, applicants must have completed 21 credits of prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students who complete the program can sit for the adult echocardiography and vascular technology examinations that are administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
The Bachelor of Science degree Adult Cardiac Sonography and Vascular Sonography program is also offered in Nebraska. Students complete 43 hours of General Education and 97 hours of courses in the major over four years. The B.S. graduate will qualify to take the examination for Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography and Vascular Technologist with ARDMS.
Nebraska also has a 12-month program called Cardiovascular Interventionist Technology (CVIT), which is a post-baccalaureate professional certificate program to enable graduates from a Radiation Science Technology program to acquire this specialization. The CVIT program can be fit within the Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science Technology degree so that the student graduates having completed this side specialty of 33 credits. CVIT students are eligible to sit for the ARDMS Cardiac Interventional Radiography or Vascular Interventional Radiography registry examinations.
For entry into the Cardiovascular Sonography program, Nebraska echo tech schools will evaluate your high school and prior college records, ACT/SAT scores and fulfillment of program technical standards. The standards include interpersonal, communication, problem solving and motor and functioning skills. Job shadowing experience is recommended.
In addition, the following prerequisite courses must be taken and passed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75:
- College Algebra (3 cr.)
- Physics (3 cr.)
- English Composition (3 cr.)
- Introduction to Psychology or Lifespan Psychology (3 cr.)
- Medical Terminology (1 cr.)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4 cr.)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4 cr.)
Most of the cardiac sonography programs in NE require graduation from an accredited high school with a minimum GPA of 2.75, and an ACT score of 20 or above or an SAT score of 950 or above. In addition, applicants may be required to submit three references and appear for a personal interview. Basic technical competencies in perceptual skills, safety in using equipment and proper patient care are also viewed.
Admission to the Post-Baccalaureate Professional Certificate in Cardiovascular Interventionist Technology program requires graduation from an accredited Radiography program and current certification by American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Also required are three letters of recommendation, a written narrative, and 27 semester hours of required prerequisite course work in languages, social sciences, math and natural sciences.
Most of the Nebraska Echo Tech programs will have a similar curriculum, but will want to contact all of the schools directly from our site to get exact details. You can plan to spend four-five semesters in the Cardiovascular Clinical Practicum, or similar hands-on courses, where you will receive supervised clinical training at hospitals and clinics.
Echo Technician and Cardiac Tech Careers in Nebraska
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2014 that Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians in the nation averaged an annual salary of $55,210, or $26.54 an hour. The figures for Nebraska that year were $50.410 and $24.24, respectively.
Looking at industry salaries, BLS found that Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians who worked in the offices of physicians earned the highest annual salary at $57,570. Those who worked for general medical and surgical hospitals earned $54,230.
Echocardiography is a competitive field for school entry as well as in the job market. As one of the highest paying positions for associate degree graduates, this program has attracted a large group of career seekers and there has been an increase in training programs nationwide. If this field interests you, your best bet is to get as much training as possible at an accredited institution, and to get yourself certified by taking the registration examinations mentioned above.
The practicum experience will give you an opportunity to network and to establish yourself as a competent echo tech, for future hiring possibilities. The fact that the Nebraska schools offering this program are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) and offer degree programs make them solid sources of training for this career.
Reach out to the Nebraska cardiovascular sonography programs you see on our site to get started in this field today.