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.
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.
Clinical Performance & Clinical Competence
- 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
- 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
Students will demonstrate appropriate and effective oral and written communication skills with patients and the interprofessional healthcare team.
Professional Development & Growth
- Integrate professional ethics and behavior into clinical practice
- Function as part of the interprofessional healthcare team
- Participate in professional growth development
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.
Program Completion Rates*
|# of Students Entered Program||# of Students Graduated Program||
Program Completion Rate
Credentialing Examination Pass Rates*
Pass rates are on FIRST attempt ONLY within ONE year post graduation.
|# of Our Students Who Took Exam||
# of Our Students Who Passed
Job Placement Results*
Job Placement rates are within ONE year post graduation.
# of Students Seeking Job
|# of Students Employed in 1 Year||
Job Placement Rate
*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.
The Cardiac Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).