How the Future of Ultrasound hinges on Election…..

Ultrasound in hands of BossJust a quick thought today about healthcare in general and Ultrasound’s and Sonography’s future in specific.  This will effect all modalities including Echocardiography (Cardiac Ultrasound), Vascular Sonography and General (OB/GYN)  Ultrasound.

As many of you are already aware the Obamacare law has slashed the reimbursements for Echocardiography, Vascular Ultrasound, and General Ultrasound.  This has had, in my opinion, a great influence on the number of Echocardiographers, Vascular Techs and Ultrasound Techs being hired.  Many facilities have gone to PRN sonographers in leu of full time positions.  Thus the final symposis is their are very few jobs being offered right now, at a time when graduate numbers are increasing.  Also added to this is that when fully implemented, Obamacare, will greatly increase the number of patients requiring Echo, Vascular, and Ultrasound studies.  So while lowering reimbursements, causing fewer techs, raising the number of studies requested.  Sound like a formula for wait lists, shortages, etc?  We at the Academy are already noticing many imaging centers and Dr. offices no longer offering inhouse studies. (More Echo, Vascular, and Ultrasound techs without employment)  This will greatly influence Echocardiography Training and Vascular Training and Ultrasound Training.  It is more important than ever to attend a program that has passing the ARDMS or CCI registry as part of their curriculum.

So back to the thought for today. I came across this article dealing with the future of Healthcare after the Election.  It discusses both alternatives, considering the election outcome.

A short excerpt:

“the future of ObamaCare is at stake in next week’s elections. If President Obama wins and Democrats hold the Senate, the Affordable Care Act will survive. If Mitt Romney wins and Republicans take the Senate, the law is dead. It is the starkest of differences”

You can find the remainder of the article at:

http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2012/11/02/healthcare-law-on-the-ballot/

No matter how your political views swing, I feel that the Healthcare law and its future will have a dramatic impact of the future of Echocardiography, Vascular and General Ultrasound jobs going forward.

As always if this info was interested like it and share it with your social networks.

By John Sheldon

Virtual Echocardiography Training

Vita Echo Echocardiography Virtual TrainingJust announced last night is a new breakthrough in the world of Ultrasound, specifically Echocardiography Training.

As you know the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC, has an established Echocardiography program offering online training for new Echo Techs.  One of the greatest challenges is providing online students with practice and visual aids, on the performance of the actual Echocardiogram.  The distance format makes this an even greater concern.  To date, the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC is offering visual aids in the form of pictures, videos of Echocardiograms both performed and being performed.  This has been the standard, in Online Echocardiography training since its start.

Now the good news.  A company named Vita Systems has created a Virtual Echocardiography Training software to solve these concerns.  This product, dubbed VitaEcho was announced on 10/24/12 at a conference in Miami, Fl.  They describe the product as,

“a software platform designed to teach the mechanics of echocardiography, before a practitioner ever encounters a live patient”

The official description is,

“The VidaEcho system features a simulated 3D anatomy of the heart, and the corresponding echo image.  By moving a virtual echo probe handle with a mouse, users learn how the device will interact with cardiac anatomy.  The application features an intuitive user interface and highly realistic depictions of the heart’s anatomy and ultrasound, with both transesophageal (TEE) and transthoracic (TTE) modes available.  The system offers preset views but can also be customized.  Features also include the ability to overlay the echo image onto the 3D anatomy, so that the practitioner can internalize the translation of 3D anatomy to 2D images, a common hurdle for mastering echocardiography learning.”

So now we are beginning to get training products that can help Online Echocardiography Training programs to give thier students a visual and hands on way of developing hands on skills and begin to visualize the cardiac anatomy in 3D.  This will help immensely in the Echo Students comfort before they begin the clinical portion of their Echocardiography Training.

Although the announcement of the VitaEcho system has happened, the product hasn’t become officially available just yet.  Since this product is in the cloud, and software based, we at the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC are hoping the pricing will allow us to take advantage of this breakthrough in Online Echocardiography Training.  Check back and we will continue to update this story as Vita Echo becomes available for use.

As always, if you found this info interesting, like us and share this article with your social networks.

By John Sheldon

 

 

 

Sonographer: 2nd Best Paying Job in the Future

Diagnostic Medical SonographyGreat News for Sonography!

24/7 Wall St just released a report that reviews and ranks the 10 Best paying jobs of the Future. 

Sonography made #2 on the list. 

They reviewed many criteria, including growth, salary and requirments for the jobs.  As expected jobs in the medical field topped the list.  The most interested part of the medical jobs was the following:

“Because most of these positions are in the medical field, many require at least a master’s degree, and in many cases a doctoral degree. However, four have less demanding educational requirements, including the three that are growing the most. A career as a sonographer, projected to grow 43.5% with a median salary of $64,380, typically just requires an associate’s degree”Sonography includes many different specialities under the heading of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.  Some of them include Echocardiography (Cardiac Ultrasound), Vascular Sonography, Abdominal Sonography, OB/GYN Sonography, and others.
 
Here is the excerpt of their review on Sonography: 

2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
> Pct. increase:
43.5%
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 23,400
> Median income: $64,380
> States with the most jobs per capita: Rhode Island, Florida, South Dakota

Diagnostic medical sonographers work in hospitals and other facilities, conducting ultrasounds on patients and analyzing the resulting images. The BLS projects an increase of 43.5% in the number of positions between 2010 and 2020, which would raise the total number of such jobs to 77,100. Explaining the driving factors behind the growth, the BLS states that “as ultrasound technology evolves, it will be used as a substitute for procedures that are costly, invasive or expose patients to radiation.” Sonographers typically need an associate’s degree, and many employers prefer candidates to have professional certification. The top 10% of sonographers made more than $88,490 annually.

Read more: The Best Paying Jobs of the Future – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/08/30/the-best-paying-jobs-of-the-future-2/#ixzz28zjtSZpL

 
As this report points out Sonography remains as one of the top fields to pursue.  Especially given that it can be accomplished with under 2 years of higher education.  The salary ranges reported are still in the higher level of jobs with and associate degree or less. 
 
If you are thinking about Sonography, check out The Academy of Ultrasound, LLC.  They offer their Sonography programs in 18 months including passing the national registry.  Which by the way, is generally a requirement for immediate employment.
 
As always, if you found this info interesting, like us and share this article with your social networks.
 
 

Echocardiography used as Henry Doorly Zoo gorillas screened for heart disease

Gorilla Echocardiography

I was browsing ultrasound articles this morning and came across an interesting piece.

Apparently gorillas in captivity suffer from Heart Disease, as one of the major killers.  This is surprising since they don’t engage in any of the destructive behaviors that are thought to be contributors to human heart disease.

With the increasing use and image quality of portable echocardiography machines, Drs are not able to perform ultrasounds on the gorillas while awake.  This is amazing, the gorillas are trained to allow the echocardiogram to be performed while the stay calm and relaxed.  Wish we could train some of our ultrasound patients to do the same.

Just shows us that the future of Ultrasound and Echocardiography is always expanding into uncharted territory.  Check out the full story at the link below.

Henry Doorly Zoo gorillas screened for heart disease – Omaha.com.

If you liked this article be sure to share with your internet friends on facebook, twitter, etc.

Good luck with your future scanning.

By John Sheldon

 

Cardiovascular (Echocardiography) and Vascular Sonographers: Updated salary and job information as of 2010 data

Cardiovascular exam

We are all affected by today’s unpredictable economy.  This fact makes it a bit difficult for someone to determine what career path to choose or to even change your existing career path.  So, we are now forced to research longer and deeper than we would have before in order to make the best decision when deciding on what we want to do with our life.  There are a few important facts when considering a career path or change which include work environment, salary, and the predicted future of the chosen field.

When considering sonography, you must first decide which modality would be the best “fit” for you.  Let us take a look at two of the modalities.  For example:   Cardiovascular (Echocardiography) and Vascular Sonography.

Cardiovascular, sometimes referred to as “Echocardiography,” is where the technician uses diagnostic imaging to assist the physicians in the diagnoses of cardiac (heart)  ailments in patients.

Vascular sonography is where the technician uses diagnostic imaging to assist the physicians in the diagnoses of peripheral (blood vessel) vascular ailments in patients such as blood clots.

The work environment for both Cardiovascular and Vascular sonographers are similar.  These technicians usually work in a healthcare facility such as a hospital, clinic, and/or a physician’s office.  Now, another possibility is to work for a “mobile” service where the sonographer is employed by the “mobile” company that is contracted by a physician (physician’s office) who schedules regular patient appointments on a certain day(s) during the month, for example.

As of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average starting salary for cardiovascular and vascular technicians is around $49,410.00 per year.  This equates to about $23.75/hour.  The job outlook over the next ten years in this field is expected to increase approximately 29%, which is much faster than the average.  Basically, the increase is due to the evolution of technology allowing medical facilities to replace more invasive procedures with less costly ones.

Patient comfort is important during exam.

Even though hosptials are the primary employers of cardiovascular and vascular technicians, it is predicted that employment will grow more rapidly in physicians’ offices as well as in diagnostic laboratories due to the shift toward outpatient care whenever possible.

In summary, it will also be important to make yourself as “marketable” as possible.
In order to ensure your marketability as a potential employee, it makes sense to be as prepared as possible.  In the world of diagnostic medical imaging, this includes – not limited to- being registered in more than one ultrasound modality.  For example, it is becoming more and more familiar to hear that an employer is looking for a “dual” registered candidate.  This may mean holding dual registries such ash General and Vascular, or Echocardiography/Cardiovascular and Vascular, etc.  Some employers will interview a registered candidate witht the requirement being that the person will sit for the other registry within  six months to one year.  This scenario is becoming more and more common.
With the predicted employment of 63,900 technicians by the year 2020 as Cardiovascular and Vascular technicians, it is imperative to be ready.
Contact us at (866) 867-2824 for information on our next online “cross-over” course in Cardiovascular/Echocardiography and Vascular ultrasound.  Our courses begin on the 1st of each month.

Echocardiographers: help in finding cardiac sonography jobs and other ultrasound jobs

Good morning!  I hope everyone is preparing for Christmas.  For a lot of people, finding a job for the new year is on the top of the Christmas list.  Whether it is in Echocardiography, Vascular, or General ultrasound, the search has begun.  So, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I do run across available positions posted all over the United  States.  I like to at least provide the links to these possible job opportunities for our readers and their colleagues.  If there are any positions you are aware of, feel free to post the information.

  1. Cardiac Sonographer II in Medera, CA – http://childrenscentralcal.jobscience.com/JsrApp/index.cfm?cmd=showPositionDetail&coBrandId=50110&masterID=chcca001&accountID=BE034C3E-08A0-D2B2-4693C6D55F2F0BEC&positionId=490489&prodApp=cc153c84-af0b-4f17-a32a-75aec3b65159&bID=1702
  2. Pediatric Sonographer, Pittsburgh – https://upmcjobscp.upmc.com/psc/extapp/EMPLOYEE/EXTRN_APP/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE
  3. Echo Tech, Maine – https://www.healthcaresource.com/cmmc/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.jobDetails&template=dsp_job_details.
  4. Echocardiography Sonographer, Illinois – http://jobs.advocatehealth.com/us/suburban-chicago/diagnostic-imaging/jobid1991342-echocardiography-sonogr
  5. Pediatric Echocardiography Technician, Minnesota – https://careers.fairview.org/CSS_External/CSSPage_JobDetail.ASP?T=20111206094123&
  6. Echocardiography Tech, Tennessee – https://vanderbilt.taleo.net/careersection/.vu_cs/jobdetail.ftl?job=19209&src=JB-10200
  7. Echocardiography Tech, Pennsylvania – http://www.wpahs.org/careers/apply?nl=1&jvi=o41PVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job
  8. Echocardiography Tech, Massachussetts – https://www.healthcaresource.com/brocktonhospital/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.jobDetails&template=dsp_
  9. Echocardiography Tech and Vascular Tech, South Dakota – http://www.prairielakes.com/employment/index.php?jobid=598&id=13
  10. Ultrasound Tech, Arizona – http://www.applicantstack.com/client/maranahealthcenter/x/detail/a2wclr2cysbl/aacq
  11. Echo-Vascular Tech, Utah – https://jobs.intermountainhealthcare.org/viewjob.html?optlink-view=view-120157&ERFormID=newjoblist&ER
  12. Ultrasound Tech, Long Beach CA –  http://jobs.memorialcare.org/us/torrance/technician_technologist/jobid1491901-ultrasound-technologist-pd?apstr=&source=
  13. Echocardiography Tech, Wisconsin – http://milwaukee.jobing.com/Job_Details2.asp?JobID=3027588
  14. Echocardiographic Technologist, Kingman AZ –  https://www.healthcaresource.com/kingman/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.jobDetails&template=dsp_job_details.cfm&cJobId=573382&source=Indeed.com
  15. Cardiac Sonographer, Atlanta GA – http://www.piedmonthealthcare-jobs.com/job/ATLANTA-Cardiac-Sonographer-(Echo-Technologist)-Job-GA-30301/1517931/

 

 

I will certainly post more as I find them.  Please provide feedback as to whether this is helpful.  I appreciate any input you may offer.

 

www.academyofultrasound.com

The Academy of  Ultrasound provides cross-training into additional modalities.

Ph:  866-867-2824

Echocardiographers, cardiac sonographers: info on Tetralogy of Fallot

Hello, everyone.  It has been a while since our last post.  However, I wanted to share some information I thought to be interesting.  While completing my weekly reading and research, I came across an interesting article and thought I might share it with our readers;  http://cardiophile.org/2009/09/colour-doppler-echocardiography-in-tetralogy-of-fallot-in-parasternal-long-axis-view/.

 

By all  means, post comments on your opinions of the article.  I believe sharing various experiences in the field of sonography;  with today’s emphasis on echocardiography, can only make a better sonographer.  So, feel free to share your experiences and other material you may find in your research that may be helpful to your colleagues.

 

Have a Great day!

 

www.academyofultrasound.com

PH:  (866) 867-2824

Traveler Sonography Series: Endocarditis; results of echocardiography study

08/05/11

 

Endocarditis

Good afternoon to all of you sonographers; Echocardiographers, General ultrasound technicians, Vascular technicians, and/or our valued blog followers who are interested in various case studies. 

Today’s study involves a patient who has been in hospital for a while and has had to be incubated.  A couple of weeks ago, an echocardiogram was performed that resulted in no unusual findings.   However, new study was completed that detected a large growth.  Listen to the video for the details. 

 

Feel free to express and share your thoughts and experiences.  Again, thanks to the Academy of Ultrasound AND THANK YOU for following our blog.  We appreciate and look forward to your input into the discussion.   If there are specific topics/studies that you would like to discuss or receive more information on, again, do not hesitate to request.  We have many resources and would welcome the opportunity to share with you.

www.academyofultrasound.com

 

 

 

 

New Sonography Series on Interesting Ultrasound Case Studies: Echocardiography, Vascular, and General Ultrasound

Good afternoon to all of you!  As a follower of our SoundWaves ultrasound blog, you are already aware that we have recently started a songraphy series.  This series includes video information on interesting, as well as unusual, case studies experienced by our sonographers in echocardiography, vascular and general ultrasound.  These are submitted while completing travel assignments across the United States.  This is a helpful teaching tool for students and veteran techinicians in the ultrasound field.

We would like for YOU to share your interesting and unusual case studies with us and our followers.  These experiences can be in any of the ultrasound modalities: Echocardiography/Cardiac, Vascular, or General sonography.  Also, your submission can be in written form and/or video.  However, if video, we ask that the maximum length not exceed 5 minutes.  Please incude details of case study scenario; but, of course, do NOT use any names.  We want to share these studies on the Academy of Ultrasound’s facebook page and our blog.

Again, thank you for your support and following.

www.academyofultrasound.com

Traveler Sonography Series: Right Atrial Thrombus

07/20/11

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 http://youtu.be/FeABFQk5BHE

Welcome to today’s sonography update involving a right atrial thrombus found as result of an echocardiography exam. The patient had no cardiac symptoms; however, the cardiologist wanted to perform an Echo exam before patient was released from hospital. Echo looked somewhat normal with the exception of EF in the 18% range. Also, found a “strawberry-shaped” floating object in the right atrium that measured 3 x 2 cm. A subsequent TEE and surgical removal confirmed it was a thrombus in the right atrium. Later, patient informed echocardiographer that he had undergone a previous Echo exam about six months prior resulting in an EF in the 45% range.

So, listen to the video for details of the echocardiographic findings. My professional suggestion from this experience is for all diagnostic medical sonographers, especially Echo/Cardiovascular technicians, to make sure you follow standard protocol to ensure and decrease the prospect of missing some cardiac defect.

Again, Thanks to the Academy of Ultrasound and to all of you who follow this sonography series. As always, feel free to comment and share with collegues via FaceBook, Twitter, and other social media you may use. Also, if there are any questions you may want to ask or information to add; please, feel free to do so.

www.academyofultrasound.com/blog

www.academyofultrasound.com