(found 2 schools, updated in June 2017)
A Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer is a specialized Diagnostic Medical Sonographer who performs imaging exams on children. The images focus on the heart and the heart’s blood vessels. The primary responsibility is gathering and assessing diagnostic ultrasound images to assist cardiologists and other physicians in making a diagnosis or developing a treatment plan.
This is a very rewarding career field because successful diagnostic imaging can lead to the early identification of congenital defects and heart disease in children, which improves the ability to develop appropriate medical responses and enhances their quality of life.
What Does a Specialized Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer Do?
The Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer uses imaging equipment to assess congenital and acquired heart disease in infants and children. The images and sonographer assessments are valuable tools used by physicians to make a diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. The pediatric echocardiogram is recognized as unique when compared to other types of imaging procedures because of the wide range of congenital heart diseases that can develop in infants, children and teenagers. The Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer must determine the ideal imaging views that are most beneficial.
People who choose this specialization must have the skills and patience to work with very young children who may not take directions well. Typical equipment used includes software and hardware able to do 2D imaging, spectral Doppler studies, M-mode, and others. There are also many administrative duties that include maintaining patient records and documenting equipment maintenance.
How to Become a Specialized Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer in 2017?
Most employers require Pediatric Cardiac Sonographers to have completed a Diagnostic Medical Sonography program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Programs.
There are two schools offering CAAHEP-accredited pediatric cardiac sonography programs in the U.S. as of 2017, indicating the high level of specialization for this particular career in echocardiography. The length of time it takes to complete the best program that meets the student’s needs depends on the academic track chosen. The Associates degree takes about two years to complete. Certificate programs for ultrasound technicians are usually between one to two years in duration.
Typical programs include didactic instruction and clinical training. The coursework covers topics like cardiovascular concepts, diagnostic electrocardiography, pediatric echo techniques, echo evaluation of congenital heart disease and many others. Entrance into the programs requires first meeting course pre-requisites.
After fulfilling program requirements, students will complete their career preparations by taking the appropriate ARDMS Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exams plus the Pediatric Echocardiography (PE) exam. Upon passing, the professional can use the title of Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer with a Pediatric Echocardiography (PE) credential.
Salary and Job Outlook
This is a growing field of interest that offers enormous employment opportunities. A salary survey by the Society for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) indicated that over 43 percent of Pediatric Cardiac Sonographers queried were earning annual salaries of $80,000 or more, and that equates to $38.46 per hour. Approximately 27 percent earned $65,000 to $79,999 or $31.25 per hour to $38.46 per hour.
The employment outlook is excellent with cardiovascular technologist and technician positions expected to increase by 30 percent between 2012 and 2022, and a portion of those jobs will require specialization in Pediatric Cardiac Sonography. There are opportunities for advancement and increasing salaries in various ways, including assuming a department lead position or becoming an expert in the use of multiple echocardiography platforms for pediatric care. | See Job Openings
A List of Accredited Pediatric Cardiac Sonography Programs in 2017
School Name: Community Regional Medical Center
Address: 2823 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721
Contact Person: Joy Guthrie PhD
Contact Email: send mail
Contact Phone: (559) 459-2731
School Name: Alvin Community College
Address: 3110 Mustang Road, Alvin, TX 77511
Contact Person: Jessica Murphy
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: (281) 756-5650
Program: Certificate and Associates Degree
The list of schools offering accredited programs in pediatric cardiac sonography is continually updated.
To find accredited online sonography schools or accredited schools in general, vascular or cardiac sonography, simply visit accredited ultrasound technician school directory in 2017 and use the interactive chart to search your specialized program.