Are you looking for a medically related career where you can make a significant difference in patients’ lives every day? Do you want a job with variety? Do you have excellent organizational and multitasking skills? Would you like to train for a people-oriented, fast-paced career that offers high pay and is in demand?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, El Centro College’s Echocardiology Technology program (with adult and pediatric tracks) may be for you! This program prepares graduates to work as echocardiographers, who use sound waves to examine the heart and vessels in close cooperation with cardiologists.
Echocardiology Technology at a Glance
Looking for a quick overview of the Echocardiography Technology program? Take a look at Echocardiology Technology at a Glance for a short summary of what a echocardiology technologist does and the degrees and certificates offered by the colleges of DCCCD.
What Does an Echocardiographer Do?
Echocardiographers, also called echocardiology technologists or cardiac sonographers, perform cardiovascular examinations to produce images of the heart and great vessels using high-frequency sound waves. These examinations are used by doctors to diagnose congenital heart disease, valvular disease, pericardial disease, cardiomyopathy and other cardiovascular problems. Echocardiographers typically work in hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices.
Intense Program Pays Off With a Great Career
As a student in the Echocardiology Technology program, you’ll benefit from our outstanding faculty and exemplary clinical rotations, which are recognized both locally and nationally.
Echocardiology Technology courses are completed in one nine-week summer semester and two 16-week academic semesters.
The program requires a full-time commitment comprising lectures, skills labs and clinical experience. The schedule for classes and clinicals varies from semester to semester, but classes are typically held four days a week during daytime and evening hours.
Each semester involves approximately 40 hours of class and clinical experience every week. You should plan a minimum of two to three hours of studying and preparation time for each class or clinical experience.
The demands of the courses are such that most students can’t work full time while enrolled in this program. If you need to work or have significant family responsibilities, we encourage you to plan your schedule carefully to accommodate the time commitment that this program demands.
This is an intense program that pays off handsomely with experience and credentials that will give you a definite edge in a competitive job market. Graduates of the program are not only successful at finding immediate employment but also have an excellent pass rate on American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams.
Echocardiology Technology Degree and Certificate Options
El Centro College offers the Echocardiology Technology program, which includes two associate degrees and two certificates.
- The Echocardiology Technology Associate in Applied Sciences degree is a two-year program that prepares students to work as echocardiographers who perform cardiovascular examinations on adults.
- The Pediatric Echocardiology Technology Associate in Applied Sciences degree is a two-year program preparing students to work as pediatric echocardiographers who perform cardiovascular examinations on children.
The first year of the curriculum for both associate degrees consists of El Centro’s Health Occupations Core Curriculum. You must complete these general education and health occupations courses before you apply for entrance to the specialized portion of the program. The second year of the curriculum provides intensive classroom and clinical training in the medical specialty of echocardiology.
You may qualify for the Echocardiology Technology Advanced Technical Certificate or the Pediatric Echocardiology Technology Advanced Technical Certificate option if you have already earned a minimum of an associate degree in a designated allied health field or a bachelor’s degree with a major in a science discipline and have substantial patient care experience.
Prospective students are considered on an individual basis to determine if they have an adequate background in anatomy and physiology, college algebra, pathophysiology, pharmacology and physics. A background in basic electrocardiography (ECG) is also required.
If you are interested in pursuing these certificates, contact the El Centro Health Occupations Admissions Office for specific application requirements and plan to attend an information session for the specialized imaging programs of Echocardiology and Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Graduates of the Echocardiology Technology program may take one of two credentialing examinations, both recognized by the American Medical Association, though employers may have a preference:
- The Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer examination from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography with specialization in adult echocardiography or pediatric echocardiography
- The examination for Registered Cardiac Sonographer with specialization in adult imaging or Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer with specialization in pediatric imaging, both from Cardiovascular Credentialing International