Cardiac sonographers are more commonly called echocardiographers or echo-techs. Echocardiography obtains images of the heart via ultrasound. It is one of the most widely used imaging examinations for assistance in the diagnosis of heart disease. Echocardiography is especially useful for assessing diseases that affect the heart valves and for detecting abnormalities in the motion and appearance of the heart wall.
Vascular sonographers use ultrasound imaging and other types of exams to detect anatomical and physiological changes caused by diseases of the arteries and veins and the resulting effects on organs and other tissues. Vascular disorders include carotid artery disease, which may lead to stroke; abdominal vascular diseases, such as aneurysms; peripheral arterial disease, which can result in chronic pain and may progress to loss of limbs; and venous conditions that can cause blood clots (thromboses), which can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
The NSU Cardiovascular Sonography Program at the Tampa Regional Campus offers didactic and clinical training in two of the four major medical ultrasound specialties: Adult Cardiac and Vascular Sonography as an integrated curriculum. The growing use of ultrasound and the need for sonographers with multiple credentials to accommodate the demands of recent workplace trends has resulted in this new, combined curriculum approach to medical ultrasound education programs. At the end of the program the student will be able to perform adult echocardiography and vascular ultrasound and physiological studies, and will qualify to apply for national professional registry exams in both specialties.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for all specialties of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow at the rate of 39% until the year 2022, much faster than the average growth in all professions. Please see the following BLS Link for more information: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm.
The bright career outlook for all medical sonographers is also portrayed by the data reported by the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), developed by the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and North Carolina State University. O*NET also sees a "much faster than average" job growth for the profession by 2022 of 22% or higher, resulting in an additional 35,000+ job openings. Please see the following Occupational Information Network (O*NET) link for more information:http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2032.00.
Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply for the concurrent Master of Health Science (M.H.Sc) Option. Students who enroll in this concurrent M.H.Sc will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Sonography and a Master of Health Science. Both programs will be completed in 27 months. Upon application, a review of the bachelor’s transcript will be conducted and all general education requirements will need to be satisfied. In addition, up to 27 credits of open electives will be transferred. Upon transfer credit evaluation, completion of any additional credit to meet or fulfill the 57 credits for general education and open electives requirements will be required. Courses in the MHSc program online include Writing for Medical Publication, Research Methods, Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Management in Healthcare. During the clinical year, students will work with a faculty member to design and implement a capstone project such as case studies, presentation or clinical research. If interested in the concurrent Master of Health Science option, please contact your Admissions counselor or the Program offices for further details.