Cardiac sonographers’ use ultrasound to examine the heart valves, chambers, and vessels using images called echocardiograms. Cardiac sonographers’ must be able to take echocardiograms, carotid ultrasounds, EKG tests, and abdominal aortic ultrasounds. They are also required to perform peripheral vascular testing, take blood work by finger sample, register patients and collect payment, perform EMR quality checks, and clean and stock the exam rooms.
In order to qualify for the job you must have graduated from an accredited cardiovascular ultrasound program. Degree programs typically take about two years to complete. You must also be registry eligible and it is helpful to have at least two years experience.
The job takes place exclusively indoors. Some travel may be required. Employment will primarily be through hospitals and some private doctors offices. A cardiac sonographer will mostly work with patients and will rarely even see the cardiologist. That is why it is important to have good people skills and to be highly skilled. There are very few active cardio sonographers. Cardiac sonographers’ are very highly sought after and paid for their services. Because they are in such high demand jobs are available almost anywhere.
Because many cardiac sonographers will be working in hospitals the hours fluctuate. Most cardio sonoghraphers’ are required to be on call at all times. Many are required to carry a beeper that is provided by the hospital. Some cardio sonographers are evenrequired to travel between hospitals. The pay is usually hourly because of this. This can fluctuate depending on where you get hired.
Cardiac Sonographer Tasks
- Prepare and position patient for echocardiography exam and explain procedure.
- Operate cardiac ultrasound, dopper and similar equipment to perform procedure according to physician's directive.
- Observe screen during scan to ensure satisfactory image for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments as required.
- Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.