Cardiac Echo Technicians, also known as Echo-cardiographers or Cardiac sonographers, assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac patients. They use non-invasive echocardiography testing equipment, such as ultrasound instruments in order to examine patients’ circulatory systems, including heart chambers, valves and blood vessels. They work closely with both physicians and patients to diagnose a variety of cardiovascular diseases and disorders.
Cardiac Echo Technicians work in both government and private health care settings. They are employed at hospitals, physician’s office, outpatient clinic, medical laboratory, cardiac rehabilitation facilities. In some cases, they have to work even in weekends, evenings or overnight shifts.
To become a Cardiac Echo Technician, the aspiring candidates must have to earn at least a 2-year associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology. The course work includes anatomy, physics, physiology, pathology, electrocardiography, diagnostic testing, echocardiography imaging and techniques etc.
Students can also pursue a 4-year degree program in cardiovascular technologists to find better job opportunities in this field.
Licensure & Certification
Since most states of USA require a Cardiac Echo Technician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. These professionals can obtain a certification from American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), after passing a required examination.
Having the knowledge of operating ultrasound diagnostic equipments, Cardiac Echo Technicians also possess wide range of skills such as attention to detail, dexterity to perform procedures, tolerance for long working hours, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, ability to perform duties with accuracy in time limitations, work with compassion, physical stamina for lifting and positioning the patients and equipments, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Cardiac Echo Technician remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 30% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Cardiac Echo Technician was $53,210 in 2013.