How to Become an Echocardiogram Tech: The Complete Guide. Learn everything you need to know about how to become an echocardiogram technician, including the necessary education and training, job outlook, and salary information.
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An echocardiogram tech, also known as an echo tech, is a health care professional who uses ultrasound waves to create images of a patient’s heart. These images are then used by doctors to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Echo techs typically work in hospitals or other medical settings, and they may need to be on call or work nights and weekends.
Becoming an echocardiogram tech generally requires completing a postsecondary education program in diagnostic medical sonography or cardiac ultrasound technology. Some employers may prefer candidates who have experience working in a hospital setting or who are certified by a professional organization such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
What is an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of your heart. The test is also called an echo. An echocardiogram can help your doctor assess the condition of your heart and check for problems. If you’re interested in becoming an echocardiogram tech, you’ll first need to complete a training program.
An echocardiogram is a painless test that uses ultrasound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. The test is also called an echocardiogram, cardiac ultrasound, cardiac echo or simply an echo.
This moving picture shows the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart’s muscles are contracting. An echocardiogram can also show if you have plaque buildup in your coronary arteries.
The test is performed by a specially trained sonographer, who will place a hand-held device called a transducer on your chest. The transducer sends out ultrasound waves that bounce off your heart and return to the transducer. These echoes are then converted into moving images of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.
You may be asked to hold your breath at certain times during the test so that the image is not blurred. The entire test usually takes 30 to 60 minutes.
An echocardiogram, often called an echo, is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves to take pictures of your heart. The test is noninvasive, which means it does not involve putting needles or other instruments into your body.
Your doctor may order an echocardiogram to find out the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart walls and valves are working. The test can also show if you have an enlarged heart, fluid around your heart, or other problems with your heart’s muscle or valves.
An echocardiogram is usually done as an outpatient procedure. That means you can go home the same day. The test takes about 45 minutes to an hour. You will need to remove any clothing that covers your chest and back and put on a hospital gown.
You will lie on a bed or table, and a technician will put gel on your chest and attach a device called a transducer to your skin. The transducer sends out ultrasound waves that “bounce off” of different structures inside your heart, including the valves and walls. A machine records these “echoes” and creates moving pictures of your heart for the doctor to look at.
The doctor will look at the size and shape of your heart chambers, check the movement of your valves, and assess the thickness of your heart walls. The doctor may also look for signs of fluid buildup around the heart or evidence that blood is not flowing properly through it.
How to Become an Echocardiogram Technician
As an echocardiogram tech, you’ll use ultrasound machines to create images of patients’ hearts. You’ll need to have good communication and people skills, as you’ll be working closely with patients. You’ll also need to be able to follow instructions and have good attention to detail. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to become an echocardiogram tech.
Education and Training
Echocardiogram technicians must have at least an associate degree from an accredited echocardiography program, although a bachelor’s degree may be required by some employers.
Echocardiography programs are offered at many colleges and universities, and usually take two years to complete. These programs includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, and medical ethics, as well as hands-on training with echocardiogram machines.
After completing an accredited program, echocardiogram technicians must become registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Registration requires passing written and practical exams. Once registered, technicians must complete continuing education credits to maintain their registration.
Echocardiogram technicians are not required to be certified, but certification may give them an edge when competing for jobs. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers certification in echocardiography, and candidates must have at least one year of full-time work experience as an echocardiogram technician before they can sit for the exam. Candidates must also pass a written exam and a skills assessment.
Echocardiogram technicians, also called cardiac sonographers or diagnostic medical sonographers, use special equipment to produce images of the heart. The demand for their services is expected to grow much faster than average. Job prospects should be especially good in physicians’ offices, where an aging population will require more tests to detect heart problems.
There were about 33,700 echocardiogram technicians in the United States in 2016. Most worked in hospitals, but others worked in physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and diagnostic laboratories. Many echocardiogram technicians are certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Though there is no one specific path to becoming an echocardiogram tech, there are some recommendations that will help you on the way. Firstly, it is important to get an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography or a related field. Once you have completed your degree, it is recommended that you become certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). After you have been certified, you will be able to find employment at hospitals, outpatient centers, or doctor’s offices.