What's the Job Description of an Echocardiography Technician?

Echocardiography technicians use complex medical equipment that uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the heart to help physicians diagnose heart diseases. Read on to find out about the duties and responsibilities, education requirements, and salary statistics for echocardiography technicians. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Echocardiography technicians are also sometimes referred to as diagnostic cardiac sonographers, cardiac sonographers, or just simply echocardiographers. As an echocardiography technician, your main occupational tasks involve creating images of the heart, cardiac chambers, valves, and vessels for the purpose of assessing heart function and diagnosing heart ailments. You will work closely with cardiologists, often performing the technical aspects of the examinations, evaluating the findings, and reporting them to the cardiologists.

You will also be responsible for interviewing the patients and reviewing their medical records so that you may adapt your sonographic techniques as necessity dictates. You provide patient care, such as preparing the patients for the sonographic imaging and providing them with instruction during the echocardiograph so that the images turn out properly. You perform echocardiography on patients while they are lying down or while they are on a treadmill to assess their heart while under physically stressful situations.

Important Facts About Echocardiography Technicians

On-the-Job Training Fellowships available
Key Skills Social nuance, clear communication, attention to detail, manual dexterity, physical endurance, hand-eye coordination
Work Environment Hospitals; physicians offices; medical and diagnostic laboratories
Similar Occupations Nuclear medicine technologists; radiation therapists; radiologic and MRI technologists; medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

Education and Licensing Information

Some post-secondary education is generally required to become an echocardiography technician, such as a certificate or associate's degree in echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac sonography. These educational programs instruct you in normal and abnormal cardiac anatomy, ultrasound instrumentation, cardiac scanning techniques, and many other key areas of echocardiography.

Once you've graduated from such a program, you may choose to seek certification, which, although voluntary, will greatly increase your attractiveness to potential employers. You may choose to become a Registered Cardiac Sonographer through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International or a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Salary Statistics and Career Outlook

According to Salary.com, the median base salary for echocardiograph technicians was $74,403 as of 2019. Salary.com also reported that the bottom 25% earned $66,935 or less, and the top 25% earned $82,549 or more before bonuses and benefits.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects that the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, such as echocardiography technicians, will likely grow by about 10% between 2016 and 2026. The Bureau also indicates that technicians holding multiple credentials and the skills required to perform varying types of procedures will have the most and best job opportunities.

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