Echocardiography Certificate Program

Echocardiography Certificate Program

Classes Start October 28th

Our Echocardiography Certificate Program is designed to help you learn how to perform echocardiograms using ultrasound waves to produce images of the heart and prepare for exam certification.

CHCP offers healthcare professionals who possess an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree the opportunity to expand their skills or change fields without committing to additional years of study. Unlike our conventional Cardiovascular Sonography, Cardiac Sonography, and Diagnostic Medical Sonographer AAS programs, our Echocardiography Certificate Program can be completed in as little as 64 weeks. Our Echocardiography course curriculum is designed for those with a foundation in patient care to train with us to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform adult echocardiograms under the supervision of a physician.

An echocardiographer, also known as a sonographer or cardiac sonographer, is responsible for preparing patients for the procedure, operating and maintaining the equipment necessary to obtain images of the heart, analyzing echocardiographic data, documenting findings, collaborating with other medical professionals, and keeping up with the latest advancements in echocardiography. Depending on prior AAS degree specialty, our Echocardiography Certificate Program is also designed to help students prepare for the certification exams for Certified Registered Cardiovascular Sonographer (RCS) through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), or the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Program Details

Program Length

On-Campus: 64 weeks

Available Locations

Austin Campus
Hybrid

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions include the course number, title, and synopsis, a listing of lecture, laboratory, clinical hours, total clock hours, and academic credits. For example, the listing “15/30/0/45/2.0” indicates that the course consists of 15 hours of lecture, 30 hours of laboratory, 0 clinical hours, 45 total clock hours, and 2.0 academic credit.

Semester ISemester IISemester IIISemester IV

Patient Care and Professionalism

DBS 201

This course will introduce 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 about goal setting, conflict management, building resumes, and interview techniques. Prerequisite: None

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

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 ALARA principles. 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: None

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

Cardiovascular Principles & Pathology

CVS 240

This course will cover various cardiac and vascular related principles necessary to build comprehensive understanding of the cardiovascular systems anatomy and their relationships, electrical innervation, embryology and fetal cardiac development, hemodynamics disorders, atherosclerosis, rheumatic heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, aneurysms, cardiomyopathies and congenital defects seen in adults. Cardiovascular history and physical exam along with indications for cardiovascular disease and evaluation methods including alternative cardiovascular procedures, testing, and treatments will also be covered. This course covers pharmacological principles and considerations in treatment of cardiovascular diseases and emergencies as well as potential effects of medications on echocardiographic findings Prerequisite: None

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits3 

Introduction into Cardiovascular Sonography

CVS 250

This course will focus on sonography image orientation, including cross sectional anatomy, screen image orientation and transducer orientation. There will be an emphasis on sonographer responsibilities before and after examinations, patient preparation and positioning, orientation to equipment, and directional terminology. This course covers fundamental theoretical principles and basic scan techniques of echocardiography and abdominal vasculature including two-dimensional and Doppler modalities. The normal sonographic appearance of standard two-dimensional transabdominal and transthoracic views and routine measurements related to these modalities will be covered. The student will learn techniques to prevent musculoskeletal injury. Prerequisite: None

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours60hr.
Credits3 

Electrocardiography

CVS 300

This course will focus on the identification and analysis of cardiac arrhythmias, identification of abnormal ECG changes characteristic of myocardial ischemia, infarction, bundle branch blocks and hypertrophy. Will discuss other abnormalities associated with electrolyte imbalances and chamber enlargement. Course will cover treatment options for each pathology including procedural and pharmacological. Exercise and pharmacological stress testing will be covered along with commonly used provocative stress testing drugs. Students will also learn indications and applications of holter and even monitors. Prerequisite: Semester I

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

Echocardiography I

CVS 310

This course covers the clinical presentation of various cardiac pathologies. Clinical assessment and physiological changes associated with cardiac diseases will be taught as well as treatment options including surgical and pharmacological. 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 pathology taught in this course include valvular regurgitation, endocarditis, ischemic cardiac disease, hypertensive and pulmonary heart disease, and diseases of the great vessels. Prerequisite: Semester I

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits5 

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum I

ECSC I

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 compete competencies as directed by the clinical education plan. Prerequisite: Semester I

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship240hr.
Total Hours240hr.
Credits5 

Echocardiography II

CVS 420

This course is a continuation of Echocardiography I and covers the clinical presentation of various cardiac pathologies as well as treatment options including surgical and pharmacological. 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 characteristics 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. This course additionally covers Cardiac Trauma to include gunshot wounds, stabbing, myocardial contusion and cardiac tamponade. Prerequisite: Semester II

Lecture45hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
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 II

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

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum II

ECSC II

This course is a continuation of Echocardiography Clinical Practicum II. 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 II

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship240hr.
Total Hours240hr.
Credits5 

Echocardiography III

CVS 530

This course provides an overview of advanced echocardiographic modalities utilized in the field of echocardiography. Topics include Stress Echocardiography, Pharmacological Stress Echocardiograms, Transesophageal Echocardiography, Contrast Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional Echocardiography, and Strain Rate Imaging. This course will also cover the pharmacology principles and use of provocative stress agents as well as contrast in echocardiography. Prerequisite: Semester III

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits2 

Echocardiography Registry Review

ECS 600

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

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Echocardiography Clinical Practicum III

ECSC III

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 demonstrating relevant clinical information. Students will complete competencies as directed by the clinical education plan. Prerequisite: Semester III

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship360hr.
Total Hours360hr.
Credits8 

Job Outlook:

Cardiac sonography jobs are expected to grow 10% from 2022 to 2032, which is significantly faster than average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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What does an Echocardiographer do?

An echocardiographer performs cardiac sonography on adult patients using ultrasound waves to observe the heart in a variety of settings, some of which include the following:

  • Inpatient hospitals
  • Outpatient cardiac clinics
  • Cardiology outpatient offices
  • Outpatient imaging centers
  • Mobile imaging centers
  • Free-standing emergency rooms
  • Industry and sales

What Will I Learn in the Echocardiography Certificate Program?

The Echocardiography Certificate Program is designed to help students acquire specialized expertise in cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, cardiac and vascular pathology, interpretation of electrocardiograms, and the principles of ultrasound physics. They can also develop proficiency in performing two-dimensional echocardiography and vascular sonography, utilizing M-mode and Doppler modalities, while honing critical thinking abilities to identify and assess the sonographic manifestations of adult cardiac conditions. Upon completion, graduates will be capable of pursuing entry-level echocardiography jobs.

The Echocardiography Certificate Program is designed to help provide instruction and training in the following knowledge and skills:

Clinical Skills:

  • Understanding the foundation and origins of diagnostic medical ultrasound
  • Understanding acoustic physics, ultrasound principles, and Doppler methods
  • Knowledge of cardiovascular anatomy, disease processes, evaluation methods, and pharmacological treatments
  • Proper patient preparation and positioning
  • Heart imaging techniques and methods to perform cardiac sonographic images and acquire accurate measurements
  • Interpreting data to recognize abnormalities
  • Operation, maintenance, and quality control of equipment
  • Assisting cardiologists in imaging procedures
  • Hands-on clinical experience

Administrative skills:

  • Critical thinking
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Reviewing and maintaining patient records
  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • Communicating effectively with other healthcare professionals
  • Safeguarding patient confidentiality
  • Working autonomously and within a team of healthcare professionals

Frequently Asked Questions About the Echocardiography Program

What does an echocardiographer do?

An echocardiographer specializes in using ultrasound technology to produce detailed images of the heart. They assist in diagnosing cardiac conditions by evaluating the heart's function, detecting abnormalities, and providing valuable information for treatment planning. Echocardiographers work alongside cardiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate assessments and comprehensive care for patients with cardiovascular issues.

What is an echocardiographer?

An echocardiographer is a healthcare professional trained to use ultrasound technology to create detailed images of the heart and its surrounding structure. They perform cardiac sonography on patients to help diagnose and monitor various cardiovascular conditions to provide information about the heart's size, shape, function, and blood flow.

Within the Echocardiography Certificate Program at CHCP, students are trained in cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, cardiac and vascular pathology, interpretation of electrocardiograms, and the principles of ultrasound physics.

What diagnosis covers echocardiogram?

Echocardiograms, also known as cardiac ultrasound or echocardiography, are diagnostic tests that help assess the structure and function of the heart. These tests provide valuable information for the diagnosis and management of various cardiovascular conditions. Here are some of the diagnoses that echocardiogram covers:

  • Valvular Heart Diseases: Echocardiograms can detect abnormalities in heart valves, such as stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leaking), helping diagnose conditions like mitral valve prolapse or aortic stenosis.
  • Cardiomyopathies: Different types of cardiomyopathies, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy, can be diagnosed and evaluated through echocardiography.
  • Heart Tumors: Echocardiograms can help identify the presence and characteristics of tumors or masses within the heart.
  • Assessment of Cardiac Function: Echocardiograms assess the overall pumping function of the heart, helping diagnose conditions like heart failure and providing valuable information for treatment planning.

How much does an echo tech make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals specializing in echocardiography typically have a median annual income of $66,170.

What is the difference between cardiac sonography and an echocardiography technician?

The terms "cardiac sonography" and "echocardiography" are often used interchangeably, referring to professionals who specialize in using ultrasound technology to image the heart. However, cardiac sonography is the broader term of the two. It pertains to the imaging of the heart using an ultrasound. Professionals in this field may be referred to as cardiac sonographers, and their expertise can extend to various aspects of cardiovascular imaging.

Echocardiography technicians focus on performing echocardiograms, which are ultrasound examinations of the heart. The term "echocardiography" may be used more specifically to describe professionals who specialize in capturing and interpreting images of the heart's chambers, valves, and blood vessels using ultrasound technology.

How are echocardiography images made?

Echocardiography images are generated using ultrasound technology, starting with a handheld device called a transducer that emits high-frequency sound waves. These waves travel through the chest and bounce back when they encounter different heart tissues, creating echoes. The returning echoes are detected and converted into electrical signals, which are processed to form real-time grayscale images of the heart's structures on a monitor. Doppler imaging and color Doppler may be used to assess blood flow patterns, providing additional diagnostic information.

Students enrolled in the Echocardiography Certificate Program at CHCP are trained to operate the equipment necessary to generate these images of the heart to analyze alongside other medical professionals.

Echocardiography Program Requirements

Participants must be in excellent health, have excellent vision, hearing, manual dexterity, and demonstrate professional attributes. All applicants must be able to read and write English.

If you are ready to enroll or want to receive more information on enrolling, simply fill out the form. Someone will contact you soon about enrolling in The College of Health Care Professions.

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Application Requirements

  • Must have completed a minimum of an Associates of Applied Science degree related to direct patient care with a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Must have completed the general education classes prior to admission either as part of their AAS or separately
    • If separate must have been within the last 7 years
    • English, Anatomy & Physiology, College Algebra, General Physics
  • Must have completed the general education classes prior to admission either as
  • Must complete application packet by deadline including all required documents
  • Must score a minimum of 21 on the SLE
  • Must complete a background check
  • All vaccine records including the Covid vaccination is required as part of the application packet
  • Must complete Information Session
  • Must complete Interview/spatial reasoning test/critical thinking test

CHCP Diagnostic Medical Sonography Graduate Entrance Requirements

CHCP DMS Graduates will receive transfer credit for DBS 201, DBS 290, and DBS 560

All Students will be ranked and offered seats based on highest scores and acquiring the minimum

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