Echocardiologist and Speech Therapist
An echocardiologist is a technologist that conducts examinations using ultrasound equipment to study the heart chambers, valves, and its vessels. Images that are produced from the exam are called echocardiograms, they are noninvasive. Physicians can use these images to diagnosis congenital heart disease, valvular disease, pericardial disease, cardiomyopathy, and other cardiovascular problems. Echocardiologists can also be referred to as cardiac sonographers because they use ultrasound equipment to produce the echocardiograms (BLS.gov, online). Other tasks involved in being this type of technologist are to explain procedures to patients; moving and lifting patients to position them for the scan; they may also give medication to active patients for accessing their heart function; and maintain equipment for optimal performance of exams. To study to become an echocardiographer most people complete a 2-year program at a community or junior college and graduating with an associate degree. According to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) there are only 2 schools in Texas offers this program of study: El Centro Community College and Sanford Brown College (CAAHEP.org, online). Another option of study in this field is pediatric echocardiography, performing cardiovascular exams on children. For this career path credentialing is purely voluntary. Keep in mind though, when applying for employment most employers do expect applicants in this field to be credentialed (BLS.gov, online). There are 2 organizations that certify echocardiologists, such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Each organization offers different certification tests for this field. For example the CCI offers 4 certification tests: Congenital Cardiac Sonographer, Cardiac Sonographer,...