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Echocardiography

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Field description

Echocardiography refers to the use of ultrasound to assess cardiovascular anatomy. A cardiac sonographer who is specially trained in the field of echo performs the exam. They work closely with patients throughout the procedure. The cardiac sonographer operates ultrasound equipment that collects reflected echoes and Doppler signals from images and spectral tracings of the heart. They use two-dimensional images and Doppler tracings to assess the cardiac structures and hemodynamics. Cardiac sonographers and physicians work as a team during the echo procedure to accurately integrate data for optimal diagnoses.

Career opportunities

Employment of cardiac sonographers is expected to grow faster than average through the year 2010. Growth will occur as the population ages because the elderly have a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Career opportunities will expand as advances in echocardiography reduce the need for more costly and invasive procedures.

Hospitals will remain the principal employers of cardiac sonographers. Additional job growth will occur in physicians' offices, clinics and diagnostic imaging centers due to increases in outpatient care.

Earning potential

According to the US Department of Labor, the median income for an echcardiographer in 2006 was $57,160. This salary depends upon location and employer. For further information on potential earnings please click on the link below.

Professional organizations

Visit the following Web sites to learn more about the field of echocardiography:

  • ART595010