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Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Echo Concentration

ASSOCIATE of APPLIED SCIENCE

Overview

CSP offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, which is designed to prepare students to work as sonographers as part of a healthcare team.

Program
Details

Course Length

19 months

Location

On Campus

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This program is designed to prepare students to become board-certified Cardiac Sonographers, trained in echocardiography with a comprehensive knowledge of how the heart works in relation to the rest of the body and the patient’s overall health. Cardiac sonographers perform a test called an echocardiogram which encompasses 2D and 3D imaging as well as different Doppler tools to assess blood flow through the heart. Cardiac sonographers work closely with cardiologists to create a report on overall heart chamber size, function, relaxation, valve anatomy, and various disease processes.

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Allina Health Partnership

CSP is proud to partner with Allina Health to offer an echocardiography degree built on relevant curriculum and clinical experience.

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As a skilled cardiac sonographer, you are trained in echocardiography to understand the in-depth nature of the heart and how it translates to overall health. Day to day work includes preparing patients for their echocardiogram exams, understanding the reason for the exam and the patient’s presenting symptoms/history, performing complete echocardiograms (including regular transthoracic exams and stress echocardiograms), assisting cardiologist with transesophageal echocardiograms and other invasive cardiac exams. Using specific imaging tools such as 2D and 3D images of the heart and Doppler blood flow imaging to assess the heart’s function. Cardiac sonographers will be competent in starting IV’s for contrast use during an exam. Cardiac sonographers will also be competent in putting together the exam’s measurements/findings and creating a preliminary report for the cardiologist. All of these skills are a crucial part in helping the care team make an accurate diagnosis for the patient.

Medical Sonographers $ 84,438 per year

2020 Median Salary

Cardiac sonographers are health care professionals trained to use imaging technology to help physicians diagnose heart problems in patients.. Read more here.

Program details

CSP has collaborated with Allina, one of the largest healthcare systems in the Midwest, to offer the Echocardiography Program. This 20-month program is designed to immerse students in patient care clinical training starting at the onset of the program. This setup allows students to apply their coursework directly to hands-on clinical experiences. Students learn alongside Allina’s cardiac sonographers, cardiologists, cardiac nurses, and other health care experts via current technologies, equipment, and procedures. Upon completion of the Echo concentration, students will have completed close to 1,800 clinical hours, completed rotations through all cardiac specialty areas, and will be prepared to take their echo board exam.

ADMISSIONS Process

CSP's Echocardiography program

offers an experience beyond compare

From day one, students are exposed to clinical time with registered cardiac sonographers and cardiologists. Being able to learn a new skill on actual patients allows us to see different pathologies and gain confidence in patient interactions. Applying the concepts learned in the classroom in a clinical setting has been beneficial in expanding my understanding and recognizing the relevance of that topic. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to work alongside the mentors who help ensure we’re prepared for a career in Echocardiography.

  • Concordia’s Cardiac (echo) Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is not currently accredited due to its recent start at the University. Echo students can sit for their CCI boards upon completing 800 Clinical hours.  Students will do this during their 5th semester and will be able to graduate as registered cardiac sonographer (RCS) and begin work in the field.

  • Please click here to go to the University’s Accreditation and Licensing website, scroll to Licensing & Certifications, and review Diagnostic Medical Sonography details.

    • Is the Sonography program-Echo Concentration accredited? The Echocardiography concentration is not accredited. If you chose to sit for the ARDMS board exams, you must take both the SPI(Ultrasound Physics) and the specialty (Adult Echo)AE in order to become registered.  To find more information about these, click here. If you chose to sit for the CCI board, you will take the RCS board and it includes content on Ultrasound physics and Adult Echo.  To see more information, click here 
    • What is the sonography program cost, and are there any fees? The DMS program charges two program fees. Please see the tuition and fees website here for specific details regarding the DMS Program Fee and the Echocardiography Concentration cost per credit.  
    • In what format are sonography classes offered? The echo concentration has classes and labs in person at CSP and Clinicals local.
    • What are the start dates for the Echocardiography Concentration? The echo concentration starts a new cohort every fall.
    • What is the deadline to apply for the sonography program? Applications for the fall cohort are due July 1.
    • How many students are accepted to the program? Up to 10 students are accepted into the echocardiography program each fall semester.
    • What are some essential abilities required of this profession? DMS students/sonographers must be capable of the physical, mental, and emotional demands of this program/profession.  All students must be able to do each of the essential abilities that are listed below in order to be eligible for this program.Essential Abilities Required for Sonography
      • Stand and walk for long periods of time with some bending, stooping, and stretching
      • Lift up to 50 lbs
      • Transport, move, and lift patients from a wheelchair/stretcher to ultrasound bed and physically assist patients into proper positions for examination
      • Be able to do portable exams throughout a facility which would include pushing and adjusting a variety of ultrasound equipment weighing up to 300 lbs on wheels
      • Possess sufficient strength, finger dexterity and finite motor skills
      • Have hand/eye coordination skills to perform sonographic examinations
      • Be able to recognize changes to optimize patient care using senses (vision, hearing, and touch)
      • Recognize and demonstrate color acuity
      • Be able to effectively communicate with patients as well as all members of their care team
      • Be able to complete exam, with no special accommodations, in time allotted for each exam (usually 30-45 minutes)
      • Be able to handle stressful situations related to technical, procedural standards, and situations with patients
      • Provide physical and emotional support to the patient during sonographic procedures and be able to respond to emergency situations
    • What do I need to know about clinical training? Remove General program information. Keep final bullet point for Echo only.
    • Do all general education courses need to be completed before being admitted to the DMS Program? General education courses can be taken at any point during the program prior to graduation.
    • How long is the program? The program can be completed in 19 months with 5 consecutive semesters, including summers. There is no part-time option available.
    • Can I work while in the program? The program is a full-time day program. Once in the sonography program, it is recommended students prioritize coursework and minimize work commitments. The program requires dedicated practice time to ensure competencies are achieved. If students fall behind, it can be challenging to catch up.
    • What does it stand for?  
      • Test of Essential Academic Skills
    • What does it test?  
      • TEAS test comprises 170 Multiple Choice questions that test the basic academic skills you will need to perform successfully in the areas of: reading, math, science, and English/language usage.
    • Can I take the TEAS any time?
      • TEAS exam needs to be completed within one year of application to the DMS program and it can be retaken to improve your score.
    •  Is there a minimum TEAS score required?
      • CSP ranks applicants by their overall TEAS percentile. A minimum score of 62% is required.
  • To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the Adult Cardiac Sonography concentration.

    Graduates from our program learn to:

    •       Use critical decision making skills to reach conclusions related to comprehensive patient care
    •       Be able to obtain, review and integrate pertinent history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
    •       Be able to perform appropriate procedures and record anatomical, pathological and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician
    •       Follow oral and written prescribed instructions to carry out analytical procedures.
    •       Able to assess and evaluate current scientific literature and synthesize information in a critical, scientific and effective manner as it relates to application of basic physics principles in Sonography.
    •       Define and apply basic ultrasound physics and recognize and identify images where quality can be improved by modifying application of US instruments and mode of operation.
    •       Exhibit positive relationship skills via effective communication, respect for others, and awareness of their impact on others.  The graduate must be able to demonstrate professional conduct and acceptance of constructive criticism.
  • This information in this section is reported annually and numbers are based on the previous year.  2021 numbers will be updated in December 2022.

Meet our faculty/staff

Our world-class faculty use their decades of experience to nurture your success from the first day of class all the way to graduation— and beyond.

Kendra Becker

Admissions Counselor

Toni Squires

Administrative Coordinator, College of Health & Sciences

Jennifer Zafke

Program Director - Sonography Program

Heidi Goblirsch

Clinical Coordinator

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CSP was ranked in the Top 10 “Career Ready” Institutions & Top 10 “Career Ready” Feedback for First-Generation College Students in the 2021 SkillSurvey Career Readiness.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GENERAL SONOGRAPHY PROGRAM

Click below to explore the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program