Echo Cardiac Assistants help physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac patients. They use ultrasound equipment to obtain echocardiograms or images of the valves, vessels and walls of patient’s heart. With the help of such images, the exact problems in circulatory systems of the patient can be diagnosed and proper treatment program can be designed. Their duties include preparing patients for procedures, maintaining medical equipment, analyzing echocardiograms, reporting the findings to the physicians, recording patient’s medical history etc.
Echo Cardiac Assistants work in varieties of health care settings such as hospitals, physician’s office, clinics, outpatient care facilities, medical laboratory, diagnostic laboratory, cardiac rehabilitation facilities etc. They usually work full time. In some cases, they may be required to work even in evenings, weekends, or overnight.
To qualify for the position of an Echo Cardiac Assistant, the aspiring candidates must complete at least a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, the candidates need to earn a 2-year associate’s degree in cardiac ultrasound technology. The syllabus includes human anatomy, cardiac pathology, physiology, electrocardiography, diagnostic testing, sonographic equipment technique etc.
Certification and Licensure
Since an Echo Cardiac Assistant requires to be licensed in many states of the USA, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. These professionals can obtain an exam based certification through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Echo Cardiac Assistants possess varieties of traits such as strong technical skills to operate ultrasound diagnostic equipment, high level of attention to detail, excellent dexterity, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, strong physical fitness for lifting and positioning the patients and equipment, ability to work as a part of team, effective communications and interpersonal skills, competent in computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for an Echo Cardiac Assistant 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. The average annual salary of an Echo Cardiac Assistant was $52,070 in May 2012.