Echocardiography

Trocaire student utilizing imaging equipment on a patient.

Certificate Program
Division of Allied Health and Professions | Medical Imaging

Contact the Program Director
Echocardiography is a specialized concentration within the field of ultrasound applied to heart structures. The cardiac sonographer is a skilled person qualified by academic and clinical preparation to perform echocardiography exams under the supervision of a qualified physician. The demands of the cardiac sonographer requires a working knowledge of detailed anatomy and physiology of the heart and its echogenic appearance as it is presented as a 2-D image, as well as scanning techniques to obtain the optimum image.

The program of study includes thirty-six (36) credit hours of didactic, college laboratory and clinical sessions. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to sit for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certifying Examinations for Cardiovascular Principles and Instrumentation, Adult and Pediatric Echocardiography.

Certificate: Echocardiography

Program Format
Time of Program: Evening classes/Day clinical
Mode of Delivery: On-site/Seated

Resources
Program Requirements
Specific Admissions Requirements for Echocardiography Program:

Candidates for admission to this program must be a graduate from a patient facing Allied Health/Life Sciences program with an A.A.S., B.S. Degree or Diploma with current active licensure, registry, certification (i.e. Respiratory Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Physical Therapy, Surgical Technology, Nursing, Radiography).

  • A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative average
  • Official transcripts from secondary and post-secondary institutions required
  • Immunization/physicals:  updated medical records from within one year of the start of the program are required and are to be submitted prior to attending clinical.

*Diploma Graduates: Transcripts will be reviewed to determine compliance with academic requirements

Minimum Certificate Requirements:

A total of 36 credit hours with a Quality Point Average of 2.0.

Graduation Requirements:
Courses
  • Semester 1
    15
    Physics of Ultrasound I
    2

    Fundamental principles of acoustical physics including wave propagation, acoustical impedance properties, and transducer characteristics will be presented. Basic types of equipment and instrumentation are discussed. Doppler Principles are introduced. (Fall Semester)

    Introduction to Echocardiography
    1

    This course provides the student with an overview to the field of echocardiography, medical terminology related to procedures and instrumentation, and indications for use. Areas covered will include role of echocardiographer, legal/ethical issues and universal precautions. An overview of the program will be given. (Fall Semester)

    Echocardiography I
    2

    This course includes a study of examinations, techniques, measurements, equipment and patient preparation for 2-D Imaging, M-Mode, Doppler and Color Doppler of the normal adult and pediatric hearts. Correlation with other cardiac evaluation methods will be presented such as: angiography and cardiac catherization, electrocardiograph, electrophysiologic studies, Holter monitoring, stress testing, radionuclide studies, other topographic imaging procedures, phonocardiography, external pulse recordings, Thallium tests and Stress echocardiography. (Fall Semester)

    Echocardiography College Laboratory I
    1

    This course includes college laboratory experience on basic scanning techniques as presented in lecture. (Fall Semester)

    Echocardiography Principles and Instrumentation
    3

    A study of the principles of Ultrasound instruments, modes of operation, operator control options, frequency selection, scanning motions and planes in a cardiac examination, patient histories and physical signs, patient preparations and doppler vs. color doppler protocols are a few of the areas to be covered. Basic generalized pathology of the different organs will be covered. (Fall Semester)

    Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart
    3

    This course provides the student with the normal anatomy of the pericardial and thoracic cavities, including the skeletal framework, the normal anatomy of the heart’s large vessels, embryology development, cardiac physiology, the function of circulation, coronary circulation, parameters of arterial pressure measurement and heart pressures. Students will study the normal sonographic appearances. (Fall Semester)

    Echocardiography Clinical Practicum I
    3

    This course concentrates on the development of initial practical skills in basic echocardiography procedures. Emphasis is on the role of the initial observer to assistant under the close supervision of faculty and sonography staff and is provided at area echocardiography clinical sites. Twenty-four hours per week. (Fall Semester)

  • Semester 2
    15
    Physics of Ultrasound II
    1

    This course focuses on practical applications of principles and concepts presented in “Physics of Ultrasound I.” In addition, the student is provided opportunities for preparation for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) certification examination in Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation. (Spring Semester)

    Echocardiography II
    4

    This course will focus on the recognition and identification of cardiac pathologies with their hemodynamics in different types of heart disease. Students will learn their echographic structures. Echocardiography diagnostic procedures will be discussed such as: stress, transesophageal and intraoperative echocardiography giving indications, limitations, technical procedures and clinical pharmacology. Fetal echocardiography will be introduced. Registry style examinations will be given. (Spring Semester)

    Seminar/Research Course
    2
    Seminar/Research Course
    1

    This course is devised to help the student become familiar with describing sonographic images and correlating the descriptions with clinical histories. This is accomplished with case study presentations. The student will also develop research skills by writing a paper on an approved topic. A brief presentation of their topic will complete the course. (Spring Semester)

    Pathology of the Heart
    4

    This course will give the student an in depth study of the cardiac pathologies, their physiological symptoms, outcomes, and their sonographic appearance.  Special attention will be given to the mitral and tricuspid values, acquired aortic and pulmonic valvular heart disease.  Other areas cover will include cardiac trauma, prosthetic heart valves and pediatric congenital heart disease.  Pediatric congenital heart disease will be presented.  (Spring Semester)

    Echocardiography Clinical Practicum II
    3

    This supervised off-campus experience continues to provide the students development of skills in scanning procedures.  (Spring Semester)  Twenty four hours per week.

  • Semester 3
    6
    Echocardiopgraphy Clinical Practicum III
    6

    In this final and extended period of clinical study, the student progresses to full independence under the supervision of faculty and sonography staff. The student will be prepared to function as a beginning Echocardiographer and will be ready to sit for the RDCS examination given in October.  This course is an extension to the learning that the student encountered during the first and second semesters.  (Summer) Forty hours per week for twelve weeks.