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Cardiac Sonography - Associate of Applied Science

Cardiac Sonography - Associate of Applied Science

Train for a rewarding career as a Cardiac Sonographer.

If you are interested in being an integral part of a medical team, using state-of-the-art equipment, and providing vital imaging services to physicians, consider a rewarding career in cardiac sonography. Those who work in this career are known as echocardiologists.

With a combination of online training, residential classrooms, and clinical hands-on training, you'll be prepared to begin your career in less than two years with the Cardiac Sonography Degree Program at our Houston Northwest Campus. This program integrates classroom theory, laboratory training, and the practical clinical experience you'll need to be qualified to begin your career in echotechnology. You'll learn the skills you need to be prepared for the Cardiovascular Credentialing Exam as well as lifelong employment in the medical industry.

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Learn more about becoming a Cardiovascular Sonographer! The Cardiac Sonography Assosciate's Degree features hands-on training with medical equipment used to visualize the human heart

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Program Details

Program Length

On-Campus: 96 weeks

Available Locations

Houston - Northwest
On-Campus
Semester ISemester IISemester IIISemester IVSemester VSemester VI

College Algebra

MATH 1314

The students will identify and operate with absolute value equations and inequalities, will acquire graphing skills, inverse functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, polynomial and rational functions, piece-wise defined functions, theory of equations and matrices. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

English Composition*

ENGL 101

This course provides students with instruction and practice in expository writing and emphasizes grammatical and mechanical accuracy and proper essay from. Emphasis is placed on clarity, logical organization, unity and coherence of central idea and supporting material. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Medical Terminology*

HPRS 101

This course is an introduction to medical terminology and covers terminology associated with the structure of the body, the integumentary, muscular and skeletal systems, the lymphatic, immune, and cardiovascular systems, the urinary, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems, the eyes and ears, the reproductive and endocrine systems, diagnostic and imaging procedures, and pharmacology. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

General Physics*

PHYS 100

In this course, the student will gain a general understanding of physics. Topics that will be introduced in this course are related to mechanics, thermal physics, light and optics, to conclude with a review of modern physics. Prerequisite: MATH 1314

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Anatomy & Physiology*

APS 101

This course provides students with the fundamental knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include structure and function of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. Systems being studied in this class include the skeletal and muscular systems, integumentary system, nervous system, endocrine system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, reproductive system, and cardiovascular system. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory32hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours80hr.
Credits4 

Law and Ethics in Allied Health*

LES 100

This course is a detailed study of law and ethics and how the legal system affects the medical professional. Students will discuss current issues and concepts to help prepare for many common ethical issues related to the allied health field. Prerequisite: None

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Patient Care and Professionalism

DBS 201

This course will introduce the students to the foundation and origins of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound. The student will receive an orientation to sonography learning dynamics, testing, and educational curricula. The students will learn patient-sonographer interaction as well as work place behaviors including communication skills, problem solving, ethics, and professionalism. This course will also teach students goal setting, conflict management, building resumes, and interview techniques. Prerequisite: MATH 1314; HPRS 101; PHYS 100; APS 101; LES 100

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory15hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits2.5 

Cardiovascular Principles

CSG 200

This course will cover various cardiac related principles necessary to build a comprehensive understanding of the cardiovascular system. Detailed topics taught in this course include cardiovascular anatomy, cardiac physiology, basic embryology, and cardiac hemodynamics. Cardiac evaluation methods and types of diagnostic tests will also be covered. Prerequisite: MATH 1314; HPRS 101; PHYS 100; APS 101; LES 100

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Cardiovascular Pharmacology

CSG 210

This course covers drug classification, indications, contraindications, mechanism of action, normal dosages, side effects, and patient considerations of drugs used in the treatment of cardiovascular related diseases. This course will also explain the use of emergency cardiac medications. Prerequisite: MATH 1314; HPRS 101; PHYS 100; APS 101; LES 100

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Cardiovascular Pathology

CSG 220

This course will cover the pathological mechanisms, clinical manifestations and appropriate therapeutic measures of various diseases that affect the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular topics taught in this course include fluid and hemodynamic disorders, atherosclerosis, rheumatic heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, aneurysms, cardiomyopathies, congenital defects seen in adults, arterial diseases, and diseases of the veins. Prerequisite: MATH 1314; HPRS 101; PHYS 100; APS 101; LES 100

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits3 

Electrocardiography

CSG 230

This course will focus on identification and analysis of cardiac arrhythmias, identification of abnormal ECG changes characteristic of myocardial ischemia, injury, infarction, bundle branch blocks, chamber enlargement, hypertrophy, and electrolyte imbalances. Exercise stress testing will also be covered. Prerequisite: MATH 1314; HPRS 101; PHYS 100; APS 101; LES 100

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours60hr.
Credits3 

Introduction to Psychology*

PSYT 101

This course covers the interrelationship between biology and human behavior. Included in the course are theories involved in sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, thought language, mental abilities, motivation and emotion, effect of stress, personality traits, social psychology, and psychological disorders and their treatments. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Introduction to Echocardiography

CSG 340

This course covers fundamental theoretical principles and basic scan techniques of two-dimensional echocardiography, M-mode, and Doppler modalities. The normal sonographic appearance of standard two- dimensional transthoracic views, M-mode tracings, Doppler tracings, and routine measurements related to these modalities are the focus of this course. Sonographer responsibilities before and after examinations, patient positioning, and orientation to the ultrasound equipment will also be covered. Prerequisite: Semester II

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits5 

Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

DBS 290

This course provides fundamental knowledge of theory based acoustic physics, ultrasound principles, and instrumentation. The students will learn how diagnostic ultrasound works and optimize image acquisition. Students will learn to recognize and compensate for acoustical artifacts. Understand acoustic energy and bio effects while applying the ALARA principle. Students will be able to apply basic concepts of acoustic physics including sound production and propagation, interaction of sound and matter, Doppler physics and principles, various Doppler methods, operator control options, methods of recording, as well as emerging technologies. This course will also teach students about patient privacy and confidentiality, professional conduct and ethics, as well as Quality control procedures. Prerequisite: Semester II

Lecture90hr.
Laboratory15hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits6.5 

Echocardiography I

CSG 450

This course covers the clinical presentation of various cardiac diseases. Clinical assessment and physiological changes associated with cardiac diseases will be taught. The application of two-dimensional echocardiography, M- mode, and Doppler modalities to identify and assess abnormal sonographic changes characteristic of cardiac diseases will be discussed. Cardiac diseases taught in this course include valvular stenosis, valvular regurgitation, endocarditis, ischemic cardiac disease, hypertensive and pulmonary heart disease, and diseases of the great vessels. Prerequisite: Semester III

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits5 

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum I

CSGC 1

This course allows students to observe, participate, and train in those tasks required of a Cardiovascular Sonographer. The focus will be on the acclimation to the clinical environment and clinical site procedures in a supervised clinical setting. Hands-on clinical experience will be gained by performing basic limited studies on technically average patients per facility protocol. Students will complete competencies as directed by the clinical education plan. Prerequisite: Semester III

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship240hr.
Total Hours240hr.
Credits5 

Introduction to Vascular Sonography

DBS 560

This course is an introduction to non-invasive vascular technology. Students will learn the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the extra cranial vessels as well as the peripheral arterial and veins in the upper and lower extremities. Students will learn to perform duplex exams of the extra cranial vessels and the lower extremities. Prerequisite: Semester III

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory45hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours90hr.
Credits4.5 

Echocardiography II

CSG 560

This course is a continuation of Echocardiography I and covers the clinical presentation of various cardiac diseases.Clinical assessment, and physiological changes associated with cardiac diseases will be discussed. The application of two-dimensional echocardiography, M-mode, and Doppler modalities to identify and assess abnormal sonographic changes characteristic of cardiac diseases will be discussed. Cardiac diseases taught in this course include cardiomyopathies, pericardial diseases, prosthetic valves, cardiac masses and congenital heart disease in the adult. Prerequisite: Semester IV

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits5 

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum II

CSGC 2

This course is a continuation of Echocardiography Clinical Practicum I. Students will continue to observe, participate and train in those tasks required of a Cardiovascular Sonographer. Students will continue to gain hands- on practical experience in a clinical setting and focus on scanning technically average patients, producing high quality images, practicing routine measurements, and learning to document relevant clinical information. Students will complete competencies as directed by the clinical education plan. Prerequisite: Semester IV

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship360hr.
Total Hours360hr.
Credits8 

Ultrasound Physics Prep

DBS 390

This course prepares students for the Ultrasound Physics Registry Exam. Concepts and principles learned in Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation will be reviewed. Prerequisite: DBS 290

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours15hr.
Credits1 

Echocardiography III

CSG 670

This course provides an overview of advanced echocardiographic modalities utilized in the field of echocardiography. Topics include Stress Echocardiography, Transesophageal Echocardiography, Contrast Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional Echocardiography, and Strain Rate Imaging. Prerequisite: Semester V

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits2 

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum III

CSGC 3

This course is a continuation of Echocardiography Clinical Practicum II. Students will observe, participate and train in those tasks required of a Cardiovascular Sonographer. Students will focus on scanning patients in a timely manner, producing high quality images, acquiring accurate measurements, and documenting relevant clinical information. Students will complete competencies as directed by the clinical education plan. Prerequisite: Semester V

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship360hr.
Total Hours360hr.
Credits8 

Echocardiography Registry Review

CSG 600

This course prepares students for the Adult Echocardiography Registry Exam. Concepts and principles learned in the core echocardiography courses will be reviewed. Prerequisite: Semester V

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

What Is the Role of a Cardiac Sonographer?

These medical professionals are specially trained to use hand-held devices that produce and record images of the heart's chambers, valves, and movements. These devices, known as transducers, use sound waves that move through a patient's chest to create multidimensional pictures and video imagery. This work may also include assisting a doctor who inserts a probe down a patient's esophagus for related images. Trained and certified echocardiologists may assist in operating ultrasonography machinery, too. 

 

Doctors utilize these images as an important part of the diagnosis and treatment process, which can help saves lives.

Experts in cardiac sonography can expect to earn a median pay of $67,080 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is expected that over the next decade, there will be a need for an additional 18,000 of these medical professionals, indicating excellent job outlook and opportunities.

What Skills Will I Learn in the Cardiac Sonography Program?

With a CS degree, you’ll gain in-depth understanding and technical capabilities in echotechnology. You'll benefit from hands-on training and personal mentorship that results from working closely with seasoned medical professionals.

This program teaches professional skills that include

  • Proper echocardiogram procedure
  • Ability to obtain and record accurate patient histories
  • Capability of performing cardiac ultrasounds
  • Understanding of oral and/or written summaries of technical findings
  • Methods for assisting physicians in medical diagnosis
  • Compassionate and effective interaction skills with patients

Echocardiologist Credentialing and Accreditation

Upon completion of the Cardiac Sonography Degree Program, you will be prepared for professional certification, which most employers will expect when hiring diagnostic imaging technologists. Certification is available through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

In order to receive credentials for this career, it is necessary to graduate from the program and pass an examination. Since each credential is specialized, many technologists will receive at least one or more certification. Employers also often require applicants to earn a basic life support certification as well.

Licensure is a final step for some echocardiologists to qualify for employment in some states. The requirements vary by state, so it is important to contact your local state medical board to learn more.

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers LogoCardiovascular Credentialing International Logo
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