Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Radiologic Sciences

Cardiac Sonography (Echocardiography)

Cardiac sonographers, also known as echocardiographers, use ultrasound to examine the heart's chambers, walls, valves and vessels. They use technology such as sophisticated diagnostic ultrasound imaging machines and transducers that use high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images to complete important tasks, such as:

  • Acquiring information related to the heart's anatomy and physiology
  • Producing real-time images of cardiac structures to assist the physician in diagnosing cardiovascular disease
  • Evaluating acquired and congenital cardiac abnormalities and associated complications
  • Evaluating narrowed or leaking heart valves
  • Looking for causes of murmurs, chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Tracking and evaluating chronic heart conditions

Cardiac sonographers work directly with healthy and critically ill inpatients and outpatients of all ages in predominantly noninvasive procedures, carried out in small, low-lit rooms. They stand or sit beside the patient, who is on a stretcher, exam table or wheelchair. Sometimes the cardiac sonographer will transport a portable ultrasound to a patient's room and perform the test there.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to provide a comprehensive education preparing students for entry-level practice in Sonography as competent, caring members of the health care team, cultivating professionalism and life-long learning.

Cardiac Sonography Concentration within Your Degree

Students may complete this concentration as part of any of our Department of Radiologic Sciences Bachelor Programs. Dual-Concentration students can choose Cardiac Sonography in their first year. Cardiac Sonography is most often combined with General Sonography and Vascular Sonography.

Students must consult an admissions counselor or a Radiologic Sciences faculty member when choosing concentrations, to help make sure that the combination you choose is the best option for your future career.

Goals

Clinical Performance & Clinical Competence

Students will:

  • Select appropriate transducers and use appropriate technical settings
  • Demonstrate knowledge of proper patient prep
  • Obtain appropriate images of highest obtainable technical quality
  • Provide safe and quality patient care

Problem Solving Skills & Critical Thinking

Students will:

  • Adjust technical settings as needed based on patient body habitus and/or pathology
  • Change transducers or patient position as needed for exam
  • Critique images for diagnostic quality

Communication Skills

Students will demonstrate appropriate and effective oral and written communication skills with patients and the interprofessional healthcare team.

Professional Development & Growth

Students will:

  • Integrate professional ethics and behavior into clinical practice
  • Function as part of the interprofessional healthcare team
  • Participate in professional growth development

Certification Exams

All BS graduates are eligible to take the associated certification examinations of the organizations that oversee the concentration of study. Students who pass these examinations receive national certification. Dual-Concentration students may not be able to take board exams until they receive their BS.

Learn about the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Program Effectiveness

Program Completion Rates*

5 Year Average
(Classes 2010 – 2014)

# of Students Entered Program # of Students  Graduated Program
Program Completion Rate
62 59 95%


Class 2014 ONLY

# of Students Entered Program # of Students  Graduated Program
Program Completion Rate
12 11 92%

Credentialing Examination Pass Rates*

Pass rates are on FIRST attempt ONLY within ONE year post graduation.

5 Year Average
(Classes 2010 – 2014)

# of Our Students Who Took Exam
# of Our Students Who Passed


Pass
Rates
111 95 86%


Class 2014 ONLY

# of Our Students Who Took Exam
# of Our Students Who Passed


Pass
Rates
30 27 90%

Job Placement Results*

Job Placement rates are within ONE year post graduation.

5 Year Average
(Classes 2010 – 2014)


# of Students Seeking Job
# of Students Employed in 1 Year
Job Placement Rate
185 156 84%


Class 2014 ONLY


# of Students Seeking Job
# of Students Employed in 1 Year
Job Placement Rate
29 26 90%

*Data from Program Director (updated annually). Data collected June 8, 2015.

Note: Sonography students take multiple specialty exams. The number reflects total exams taken by students. Hence the number of exams taken are higher than the number of students completing the program.

Accreditation

CAAHEP
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727-210-2350
Fax: 727-210-2354
E-mail: mail@caahep.org

JRCDMS
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 443-973-3251
E-mail: jrcdms@intersocietal.org