A sonographer is a trained medical professional who uses special diagnostic imaging equipment which directs sound waves over a patients body in order to generate computer images of their internal organs, such as the heart.
There are several fields of study in which sonographers may wish to pursue a career, including obstetric and gynecological sonographies which are sonographers who work closely with females, pregnant women, and their physicians in order to help diagnose female reproductive disorders or check the health and progression of unborn babies. These types of positions are most often held in hospitals and OBGYN clinics. There is also cardiac sonography which is where imaging professionals use machines commonly known as, ultrasound machines, to produce detailed images of a patients heart for a physician to analyze in order to make a diagnosis and treat disorders and diseases of the heart. These physicians are commonly known as, cardiologists. This procedure is known as an echo-cardiogram, also referred to as Echoes, which are more effective, accurate, and less expensive than using radiation methods on patients. An echo produces images such muscle function, chamber size, blood flow, and valve function; therefore, it is imperative for the sonographer to know and completely understand the entire anatomy of the heart and all of its functions in order to successfully work with cardiologists in patient care regarding imaging results, diagnosis, and treatment. Sonographer training in the field of cardiac sonography has the same education and training as that of regular sonography; however, a cardiac sonographer will also need extensive knowledge concerning the anatomy of the heart, including its different chambers and how it works.
Many colleges, universities, and some technical schools offer certificate and/or degree programs in sonographer training including fields of study in specialty areas such as cardiac sonography. Most of these educational institutes offer 2- and 4-year programs; however, if you do not have the patience for a two or four year program, you may also find educational training on the Internet by researching the vast variety of online schools who offer training in sonography. Although when going through an online school it is important to check and make sure the school is accredited by the medical licensing board. This means hospitals, clinics, and doctors are able to accept certificates or degrees from graduates of online institutions if they are accredited. A broad range of science, math, and medical ethics including medical terminology are the main course of study; however in cardiac sonography, a cardiac sonographer must also learn about the different chambers of the heart, their functions and how they work, blood flow to and from the heart, as well as the different vessels leading to and from the heart connecting to different parts of the body. Cardio terminology is also an important part of the educational aspect.
A sonographer who wants to train in cardiac sonography should have a promising career as it is not a well-known field of study in the medical community; therefore, there are many positions available in hospitals and in cardiology centers all over. However, cardiac sonography is mainly used in hospitals. As the population ages, heart disease will become more prevalent among the elderly as well as those who are born with heart issues or have a family history of heart disease. Heart disease is a growing problem; however, with the advancement in medical sciences including technology, heart disease is becoming easier to diagnose and treat due to procedures such as the echo cardiogram being used by sonographers in hospitals, doctors offices, and diagnostic imaging facilities all across the United States.