Online Cardiac Sonography Schools
Cardiac sonographers--also known as cardiac ultrasound technologists or echocardiographers--assess the heart and the operation of its parts, and investigate blood flow and the soundness of the heart's chambers. Learn about online cardiac sonography schools, career requirements and online degree programs.
An education relevant to the field of cardiac sonography can be earned in multiple fields, and at both the associate's and bachelor's level. You can check out the article below to find out more about schools that offer cardiac sonography degree programs, what they cover, and what is the right decision for you.
Can I Find an Online Cardiac Sonography School?
According to the Committee on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), there are no accredited schools offering completely online programs dealing with cardiac sonography. However, there are schools that offer hybrid programs that include courses or concentrations in cardiac sonography. Hybrid programs are comprised of sections that you can complete online as well as sections that require your physical presence at an appropriate location, such as an on-campus lab, university medical facility, participating independent hospital or any school-approved healthcare facility.
CAAHEP.org frequently updates its list of accredited schools. Programs or courses relating to cardiac sonography can be found in the categories of diagnostic medical sonographer or cardiovascular technologist.
What Are the Career Requirements for Cardiac Sonographers?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most employers require cardiac sonographers to hold an associate's degree, but bachelor's degrees are becoming more prevalent (www.bls.gov). The BLS further says that although technically voluntary, professional certification is required by most employers. It should be noted that certification requires the completion of a postsecondary program at an accredited school.
Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) administer certification examinations. According to ARDMS in 2010, Oregon, New Jersey, West Virginia and New Mexico require you to sit for a licensure examination in order to practice (www.ardms.org). ARDMS expects other states to follow suit in the future.
What Are Examples of Online Degree Programs?
There are hybrid online and on-campus programs leading to an Associate in Applied Science in Cardiac Sonography and Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. At some schools, admission can hinge on your grade point average in each prerequisite subject as well as previous hands-on medical experience. In addition to online courses, schools may require you to complete over 1,100 hours of supervised clinical training to earn your associate's degree.
If you already hold ARDMS certification as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) or a CCI certification as a Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS), you may qualify for admission to a hybrid degree-completion program. You may earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in either Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Echocardiography. In addition to didactic courses that you can complete online, you are be required to participate in a series of supervised clinical components or externships at your school's health facility or your present place of employment.
Complete undergraduate programs leading to either a Bachelor in Health Science (B.H.Sc.) in Cardiovascular Sonography or B.S. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are available in hybrid format. In-person components--which can include a series of labs in various types of sonography, as well as a 12-month externship at a hospital during your second year--make up over half of the program requirements.
Which Schools Can Provide An Online Associate's Degree Program in Cardiac Sonography?
You have multiple schools to choose from if you are looking for an associate's degree in a field related to cardiac sonography. The following offer online or hybrid format degree programs:
- El Centro College has a Cardiac Sonography Associate in Applied Sciences degree program available in a hybrid format
- The Baptist Health System offers an Associate's of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program online
- Jackson College has an online program leading to a Cardiac Sonography- Associate of Applied Science degree
Which Schools Can Provide An Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Cardiac Sonography?
A variety of colleges and universities have bachelor's degree programs in a field related to cardiac sonography available online or in a hybrid format. Some of these are:
- Oregon Institute of Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography online
- Washburn University offers a Bachelor of Health Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography available online, except for clinicals
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences provides an online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program
Those interested in cardiac sonography can choose from a number of majors, such as echocardiography or diagnostic medical sonography. An associate's degree or bachelor's degree could be completed, but which is right for you depends on your current experience and your career goals.