What are the Different Echocardiography Jobs?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2018
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Echocardiography is a field with many different job possibilities that may relate to area of specialty or types of patients on which a person practices. Variation also occurs due to credentialing or certification and level of education. In any of the different types of echocardiography jobs, people use specialized sonography equipment to view the heart and related structures so that diagnosis of problems can be made. Training to do this may take place in a number of settings.

The most advanced echocardiography jobs are those occupied by cardiologists who have completed specialized training to be expert in echocardiogram diagnostics. They are sometimes called echocardiologists, and they may work in many areas including in basic adult cardiology, pediatric cardiology or fetal cardiology. Pediatric echocardiologists often perform fetal exams, and visualize the hearts of fetuses by performing echocardiograms on pregnant women to check for heart anomalies in their unborn children.

Many people who are not doctors can train for echocardiography jobs, which may have different responsibilities, training, pay scales and titles, depending upon education and certification. In the US, people may take two to four years of college level training, and in most states, people will have to earn some form of certification in order to find employment. There are two certifying agencies in the US called Cardiovascular Credentialing International and the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonography. The latter can offer the titles of Registered Vascular Technologist or Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer, while the former grants the following titles upon completion of training and exams: Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, Registered Cardiac Sonographer, Certified Cardiographic Technician and Registered Vascular Specialist.

There are actually many ways that an echo can be used. In addition to being used on different populations of patients, it can also be employed while other activities occur. Echo could be part of a stress test, or it may be performed with injected dye that helps to determine blood flow more accurately, called an echo with contrast. Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is known as an invasive echo, because the scan is performed in the throat. Echo techs with advanced training may assist in administration of both contrast echoes and TEE. The different levels of credentialing and training for echocardiography jobs begin to make sense given the varied use of echocardiogram as a diagnostic technique.

Echocardiography jobs can also vary depending on area. Echo services are often routinely used in cardiology and pediatric cardiology offices. They are also available in many hospitals, since echoes are important diagnostic tools in the treatment of hospitalized patients, either pediatric or adult. There can be sonography or echocardiography labs that are not part of a doctor’s office or hospital that will do echoes. Moreover, this skill has to be taught, so there are some echocardiography jobs in medical schools, trade or vocational schools, and community colleges or four year universities where experts in the field train others to become cardiac sonographers.

Variety of echocardiography jobs can depend on geographic area too. Those places that have larger populations may be more likely to have a higher number of jobs available. Urban areas may have the most, though there is typically greater competition for the work. It could be said though that where there are hospitals or cardiology offices, there is likely the potential for work in this field, provided a person is appropriately trained and has certification meeting the standards of the employer and/or state.



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