Below is information on the Cardiac Sonographer Associate Degree program (353P) —Lancaster Campus.
What is a cardiac sonographer?
- A cardiac sonographer (echocardiographer) has various duties. You must:
- Operate ultrasound equipment to create diagnostic images proving normal versus abnormal cardiac pathology.
- Develop differential diagnoses based on patient history and examination findings.
- Be proficient in various ultrasound modalities, including M-mode, 2-Dimensional, Spectral Doppler, Color flow Doppler imaging, 3D imaging, strain and strain rate images.
- View more information about the career (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography - SDMS)
How much does an echocardiograph technician make?
The median salary for an echocardiograph technician in Lancaster is $66,689 as of November 2013. Visit www.salary.com for more information on local salaries.
What is the employment outlook?
Medical facilities will use imaging technology to replace invasive, costly procedures. This may lead to more available jobs in the field. Additionally there is a significant shift in outpatient diagnostic centers versus outpatient procedures being performed in the hospital setting which is increasing the demand for sonographers.
What is the goal of HACC's Cardiac Sonography program?
The HACC Cardiac Sonography (CVT) program prepares students to be competent entry-level cardiovascular technologists. We prepare students in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains for adult echocardiography.
We prepare students during the first two semesters on campus to enter a clinical assignment with the ability to perform a complete echocardiogram. This includes image acquisition, measuring appropriate images (2D, M-Mode and Doppler) as well as completion of the technologist impression/preliminary report for the physician based on images acquired during the examination.
Students should be prepared to attend clinicals 32-40 hours each week during the assigned clinical rotation from January through August (the final two semesters of the clinical program).
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits the CVT program.
How do I enroll in the program?
Cardiac Sonography is a selective program. Admission to HACC does not guarantee admission to the clinical component of the program. You will begin as a Pre-Cardiac Sonography student.
To apply for clinicals, you must:
- Meet with a health career advisor.
- Download the Admission Criteria and Essential Qualifications (pdf, rev 7/3/14).
- Download letter regarding mandatory information sessions (Oct. 20, Nov. 3) for 2015 clinical application (pdf 8/29/14)
- Complete the clinical application (online using Survey Monkey) - deadline Dec. 1, 2014 for May 2015 clinical start.
What are the required courses?
Download a list of Required Courses. The list of required courses includes a sample schedule (pdf, rev 4/13).
Where does HACC hold clinicals and field trips?
Several hospitals in the Lancaster, York, Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas are affiliated with the Cardiac Sonography program. HACC holds laboratory classes at the Lancaster campus. However, you need your own transportation to attend field trips and clinicals.
Your clinical rotation could be up to 90 miles from the Lancaster campus.
What are the additional expenses?
Download Estimated Expenses (pdf, rev 5/14) for a list of estimated expenses.
Program effectiveness data
- Five-year program completion rate —80%
- Program performance on national board exam (five years) —94%
- Job placement —97.5%
Is this a transfer program?
HACC designed this program to lead directly to an occupation. The program is not intended for transfer, however, some students choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in a health related field in order to transition into a management, education or industry position.
What degree will I earn? Will I be eligible for credentials?
HACC awards an Associate in Science Degree after successful completion of the clinical program.
As a credential student, you are eligible to sit for the CCT or CRAT exams. Cardiovascular Credentialing International holds the exams. You must complete CVT 103 before taking the exams.
As a graduate, you are eligible to sit for one of two exams:
- Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)
- Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI)
Where can I advance my education?
- Franklin University offers a BS in Allied Healthcare Management.
- Shippensburg University offers a BS in Healthcare Administration.
- Immaculata University offers an accelerated BA in Health Care Management. They offer classes in accelerated format at HACC's Lancaster Campus.
Where can I get more information?
- Visit Career InfoNet for information on CVT.
- Visit Career InfoNet for information on diagnostic medical sonography.
- View the US Dept of Labor Occupational Handbook.
- Visit American Society of Echocardiography.
- Learn more about ultrasound careers.
- Visit Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals. Select "Careers" at the top of the page.
- Visit Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Visit American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
- Download the FAQ (pdf, rev 5/1/13)
- Download the Career Brochure From Sloan Career Cornerstone Center (pdf).
Who can I contact for more information?
(717) 780-1988 or 800-222-4222, ext. 211988
Cardiac Sonography Program Office
HACC Lancaster Campus
East Building, Room 207
1641 Old Philadelphia Pike
Lancaster, PA 17602