Ultrasound Specialties and Modalities (part 2 in series of 3 posts)

As promised in previous post, this is the SECOND in the series of THREE posts regarding ultrasound specialites and modalities. The first area discussed was General Ultrasound which requires sonographer to produce images ranging from small body organs located in abdominal cavity (liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc.) to OB/GYN related images of breast and reproductive system. The next area of specialization pertains to the heart and is called Echocardography.

Echocardiography pertains to the assessment of the structure and function of the heart and its blood vessels via specialized ultrasound equipment. An Echo provides information necessary to rate the efficiency of blood flow throught the cardiovascular system. It is a know fact that Echocardiography is replacing older radiological studies due to being safer, more accurate and more cost-effective. Echocardiography is also referred to as “Cardiac Sonography.” Both terms are correct. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is noninvasive; meaning, there is no breaking of the skin or entering the body. Also, there are no know risks or side effects associated with this procedure.

So, what does the Echocardiographer do? The Echo Tech, or Cardiac Sonographer, performs the imaging procedures on the patient. The technicians produce images with the use of Doppler signals and spectral tracings of the heart. Not only does the technician work closely with the patient, but also with physicians to conclude accurate diagnoses.

The different types of Echocardiograms are:

  1. Transthoracic echocardiogram – (TTE) is a standard echocardiogram. The transducer is placed on patient’s chest where images are taken through the chest wall. This produces an efficient assessment of the overall health of the heart. This is a NON-invasive procedure.
  2. Transesophageal echocardiogram – (TEE) is an alternate process of performing an echocardiogram. This procedure involves use of a specialized probe that posseses an ultrasound transducer at its tip. The probe is passed into the patient’s esophagus which allows imaging and Doppler evaluation.
  3. 3-dimensional echocardiography – is now available. This procedure uses an array of transducers which enables specific and detailed anatomical assessment of cardiac pathology; especially, valvular defects and cardiomyopathies.
TEE - how it is performed

Career opportunities for cardiac sonographers are expected to grow faster than average through the year 2010 with total growth estimated at 26% by the year 2016. Growth is largely due to the increase in the aging population and the fact that the elderly have a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

Licensing and Certification is available through two agencies: American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

ARDMS offers credentials in :

1) Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)

2) Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)

CCI offers credentials in:

1) Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT),

2) Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS), and

3) Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS), and

4) Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)

For some people, the thought of going back to school OR pursuing additional education is just NOT convenient for their busy schedules. Now, it is conveniently offered online where the student may access at THEIR leisure to complete ALL didactic work. Also, at the Academy of Ultrasound, “hands-on” scan labs are available without having to travel. So, unlike inconvenient methods of seeking career training at a “brick-and-mortar” style institution, students are able to access courses when THEIR schedule allows without the headaches of traveling through traffic, fighting for a parking spot, and feeling the affects – in the purse – of higher gas prices!!!

Ultrasound training is attainable at YOUR convenience. Remember, the future is in YOUR hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Please view our previous posts such as “The Truth: Accredited v. Non-accredited” )

www.academyofultrasound.com  For information regarding online ultrasound program, email: info@academyofultrasound.com

Ultrasound Specialties and Modalities Available

One of the most common dilemnas a potential ultrasound student faces is which modality to consider.  Most people considering ultrasound as a possible career choice are unaware of the different areas of specialization available to them.  Thus, the main focus of this blog post is to educate the public on the possibilities in the field of sonography.  In an effort to keep this particular post as short and concise as possible, as to not be boring, I will publish a series of  THREE blog posts on the subject of the specialties and modalities available.  So, be sure to visit our blog for the upcoming posts.

First of all, it is not necessary to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS) prior to choosing a specialty.  There seems to be a misconception that one must receive General Ultrasound training before completing the training for a specialized area; this is not so.  However, it is the decision of the trainee as to the length of training willing to persue.  With that in mind, it is possible to seek – for example, training in Echocardiography without receiving certification in another modality, first.

General Ultrasound imaging

The areas of specialization being discussed in this post are:

GENERAL ULTRASOUND

  1. Abdominal and Small Parts – these sonographers produce images of organs or organ systems within the abdominal cavity of the patient. The abdominal cavity includes: liver, biliary system, spleen, pancreas, urinary system, breast, thyroid, great vessels, and male reproductive system. The images that are produced assist physicians in diagnosing and treating certain diseases and disorders.
  2. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) – the female reproductive system is the focus of the images made by these sonographers. Naturally, the most common association of ultrasound imaging is that of a pregnant woman where the doctor monitors the growth and health of the fetus.
  3. Breast Sonography – one of the tools used to fight breast cancer. Tumors are often detected by using ultrasound images of the breast tissue and blood supply. Mammography is often coupled with mammography.
  4. Neurosonography – sonographers produce ultrasound images of the nervous system which includes the brain. It is common for Neurosonographers to work in neonatal care which includes diagnosing and studying the conditions of the neurological and nervous system of premature infants.

 

It is a fact that sonographers who are registered in more than one modality strengthen their marketability; therefore, resulting in increased salaries.  While working at just one facility – such as a hospital- may be attractive to some, it is possible for sonographers to seek employment with an additional facility – such as a private practice – using another specialty. For example, if you are employed as a full-time Echo Tech at a hospital and are also registered as a  Vascular Tech, you may choose to work for a private practice on a part-time basis or even weekend “call” basis.  This is just one example of using multiple modality certifications to advance career and earnings potential.

The credentials associated with the above modalities (others will be mentioned in upcoming series posts) provided by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) are:

  • RDMS – Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

 

For the next modality to be discussed in this series, be sure to visit our blog next week.

(Please view our previous posts such as “The Truth: Accredited v. Non-accredited” )

www.academyofultrasound.com  For information regarding online ultrasound program, email: info@academyofultrasound.com

Academy’s recent server upgrade

To ALL students of Academy of Ultrasound:

As you are aware, we have recently changed servers in order to accommodate our increased enrollment.  Although this has been a time-consuming, as well as frustrating endeavor, the results are well worth the wait.  Logging-in is faster as well as course access. In the upcoming weeks and months, you will see even more upgrades in order to provide -YOU- the student with optimal resorces for continued success in training and preparation for YOUR new (or in some cases, continued education) career.

Thank you, again, for your patience as we continue our attempts to provide our students with the MOST ADVANTAGEOUS tools available during training ….and even after graduation.  You are the absolute BEST student body!

The staff at the Academy of Ultrasound wishes ALL of its students and their families a very happy Thanksgiving!

SITE: www.academyofultrasound.com

PH# (866)867-2824; E-mail: info@academyofultrasound.com

Updated for Academy of Ultrasound, LLC

Good Morning!

 I would like to take this opportunity to update those who may not already be aware of the following information.  Recently, a member of the Academy of Ultrasound staff was asked to join the review committee team for an accreditation visit to another Ultrasound school located in Los Angeles, CA.  We are honored to be participating in such an endeavor.  This is a precursor to finalizing our National Accreditation as well as  positioning the Academy one step closer to securing its CAAHEP accreditation.  Once finalized, the option of utilizing Federal Student Financial Aid should soon follow.

For any questions or request for more information on online Ultrasound/Sonography training, contact us at info@academyofultrasound.com or phone 866-867-2824.

Thank you, once again, for following our blog.

New Healthcare Reform’s affect on Allied Health Professions

Recently, With Obama’s Healthcare Reform Bill being signed into law, there are concerns over what this means  for the Allied Health Profession.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry will be providing the greatest number of jobs over the next ten years. 

Now that the “baby boomers” are reaching their “Golden Years,” the demand for trained healthcare professionals will be at its highest.  This influx in the older population results in an increase in other Allied Health areas such as Diagnostic Imaging, Medical records, and IT jobs that are most critical to the system.

According to SDMS News Wave,January 2010, there will be some fundamental changes occurring for the American Healthcare system.  These change include:

  1. Strong concern for Cost-effective diagnostic technology
  2. Renewed interest in the “least invasive” approach to diagnostic medicine
  3. Preferences for the most clinically efficacious, yet cost-effective diagnostic tools

 

With the aforementioned issues being a driving force behind reform(as cited by SDMS News Wave, January 2010) sonography acknowledges its unparalleled position within the field of medical imaging to take advantage of its fundamental aspects:

  • Clinical efficacy
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Non-ionizing
  • Real-time adjustability

Sonographers are most likely to benefit from being at the ‘right place, at the right time’ as the healthcare changes take hold within the healthcare system and the medical community.

According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, the health care industry has added more than 500,000 jobs since the start of the recession…

The healthcare support industry (such as physical therapists, physical therapists assistants, medical social workers, and home health aides) will experience a 48% growth…

Health care is forecasted to remain a key source of job growth, especially in areas such as medical records and health information technicians, registered nurses, and clinical laboratory technicians…..

Health care dominates as the fastest growing field…

…All good news for those interested in a health care career!

We will keep continue monitoring the information available on this issue as becomes accessible.

Please, feel free to comment on ANY news you may have about the impact of the new bill on Allied Health careers and Thank you for your support by following this blog.

Cardiac Video on Regurgitation

Cardiac Regurg

This clip shows leakage in the cardiac valves. Take a look and see if you can decide which valves are showing leakage and how bad it is.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXud1p6tuUs

Visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/academyofultrasound and post your comment under the video posting. We will be looking for the correct answer. All those people getting the answer correct before 3/30/10 will receive a free gift from the Academy of Ultrasound.

Good Luck

John Sheldon, RCS RVS

P.S. Please share this will all your friends and social networks you belong too.

Hello world! Sonography training is Changing

Welcome to the new Academy of Ultrasound blog.  We are trying to change the world with a new and innovative method of training sonographers. 

That is complete didactic ultrasound training online, through reading assignments, virtual meetings with instructors, and podcasts.  Combined with this unique sonography training method, for ultrasound, we also add another unique feature and that is hands on echocardiography or vascular ultrasound training brought to you. 

Our working echocardiographers and vascular sonographers serve as our scan lab instructors.  By utilizing experienced traveling sonographers to teach our hands on portion, you are getting real world ultrasound experience, with the newest ultrasound machines, not just out of date theory and equipment.

After you complete all this sonography training, you will then enter the clinical portion of your schooling.  This clinical training can be completed at a facility in your local area.

The bottom line:  Academy of Ultrasound has devised an ultrasound program that utilizes experienced sonographers along with state of the art ultrasound equipment for their training.  This alone would place them in the upper end of the ultrasound programs available to allied health students today.  When you combine this training with online courses, scan labs that come to your local area, and clinicals being performed locally, you get a program that is starting a revolution in ultrasound training.  The benificiary of all this is not just those students looking to get into this top 10 fieldbut the employers that are getting some of the best trained and field ready echocardiographers and vascular sonographers available today.

Follow along with us for future updates, about Ultrasound training and other issues affecting sonography practitioners.

 

John Sheldon RVS RCS

www.AcademyofUltrasound.com