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

 

 

 

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.

Current Positions Available in: Sonography; Echocardiography, Vascular, and General Ultrasound

08/09/2011

 

Since employment opportunities in ALL industries are hard to come by, even in the best of economic conditions, I am including some of the postings for ultrasound positions I have found while researching other sonography-related topics.  I am providing links to positions across the U.S. in Echocardiography, Vascular, and General Ultrasound.  These are just a few suggestions.  Feel free to add to the list and even post other possibilities that you have encountered; but, may not be the position for you.

I have compiled this information in one place in an attempt to save time for the reader in their job search.  I do hope this information is useful.

1)  Echocardiography Lab; per diem  –  http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://newjersey.jobing.com/echocardiographer-cardiac-lab-per-diem/job/employment/24047837&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoATAAOABA0Jv78QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=zUH-IFHv2X0&usg=AFQjCNHn-rPIGCh9My18tLq5IlXe4JruBQ

2)  Cardiac Sonographer –     http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.simplyhired.com/job-id/biqxcuyf4g/cardiac-sonographer-jobs/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABA0Jv78QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=zUH-IFHv2X0&usg=AFQjCNFzJl0JBngMRaWiw3rzcFgbSJcsTA

3)  Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Instructor/Clinical Director – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://jobs.studentaffairs.com/listingDetail.asp%3FjobID%3D17084&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABApZz18QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=UGj0UsaKA20&usg=AFQjCNEaoISsuoirQtSrb1rT6Y1ZsbIG3g

4)  Cardiac Sonographer – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://jobs.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/boston/sonographer/jobid1629910-cardiac-sonographer-jobs&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAwO_s8QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=UqZvizo4Ao0&usg=AFQjCNGalFaj-w1n7CIkAnOM79qFDXGyFg

5) Sonographer – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://thejobfool.com/jobs/index.cfm/kw/SONOGRAPHER/l/new%2520york%2520city%2520ny/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAi-no8QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=0DFQCZqFxSM&usg=AFQjCNHuqYCbariMkcKOmElDDLMzdt9szQ

6)  Cardiac Sonographer; per diem – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.berkshirejobs.com/public/viewJob.php3%3FEID2%3D24%26JID%3D7976&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAsuXo8QRIAlgBYgVlbi1VUw&cd=M71TCDDixhY&usg=AFQjCNEELeazoSCgxX4sQ-dsUD6WdKwM8A

7)  Cardiac sonographer; PRN, near Pensacola, FL. – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://rgfkg.net.ms/lthzd.html&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABA1Kng8QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=KyqJ6OVfGoo&usg=AFQjCNGLgFodMxQRirj5BXkudPt3oMjeGw

8)  Sonography Jobs; Redondo Beach – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://thejobfool.com/jobs/index.cfm/kw/sonographer/l/Redondo%2520Beach,%2520CA/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAj4TE8QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=OH0zqwMp_Pk&usg=AFQjCNGW69pih_owsemqDcNrG-4UXe4TEA

9)  Echo-Sonographer for La Crosse in WI – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.mayo-clinic-jobs.com/job/La-Crosse-Echo-Sonographer-Job-WI-54601/1381912/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAqNi18QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=9O227UHaY1k&usg=AFQjCNGABSMMeRpst-c0EVRCH7Et7yKRug

10)  Cardiovascular Sonographer; Portland, OR – http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://providence-oregonpharmacy.jobs/portland-or/sonographer-cardiovascular/379697/job/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAEoBDAAOABAqNi18QRIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=9O227UHaY1k&usg=AFQjCNFv771Z84k1tvNayExNoMyiJT8K6Q

** You can also go to “indeed.com” and search the job postings for ultrasound, sonography, Echocardiography, Vascular,  and General ultrasound jobs available.

 

                                                      We invite you to follow us on FaceBook and subscribe to this blog.  Thanks, again, to the Academy of Ultrasound.

                                                      www.academyofultrasound.com  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling sonographer series: the use of difinity during Echocardiography exam

07/07/2011

In above video, the sonography update involves the use of difinity contrast while performing cardiovascular exams. On this day, while completing an Echocardiography assignment at a hospital in Hawaii, difinity contrast was used in 2 different echo studies.

In one study, where the patient was quite large, the use of difinity enabled echocardiographer to find a left ventricular thrombus. In second study, where the patient was quite small and had tiny rib spaces with sub-optimal imaging windows of the left and right atria, using difinity and 3-D TEE – found abnormality in left atria. In both of these cases, without the use of difinity, the abnormalities may have gone undiagnosed.

If your facility is not using this method, you might want to mention and discuss possibility with the Echocardiography; sonography and ultrasound supervisors and staff members. The chance of finding cardiac abnormalities are significantly increased with using this method.

Please comment on your thoughts about this method; whether you have used it in performing echo studies and your experience as a cardiac sonographer. Also, share with your colleagues and FaceBook (Twitter, etc..) friends to show them what you see in you career as a sonographer.

Thanks, again, to the Academy of Ultrasound.

www.academyofultrasound.com

Traveling Sonographer Series: thoughts on using iE33 Matrix Echocardiography System

07/01/2011

iE33 Echo system

Good afternoon to all sonographers and everyone interested in ultrasound industry.  I am trying out a new series that includes various situations during a traveling sonographer’s assignment.  There will be posts on cardiovascular and vascular studies as well as other diagnostic imaging information.   I may, also, occasionally comment on the protocol in the Echo lab that is expected to be followed by all echocardiographers and ultrasound technicians.

In the video, link above, the discussion is about using the iE33 Matrix Echocardiography system in performing Echocardiography and Vascular exams.

I look forward to sharing the most exciting Cardiac sonography  studies with you.

Feel free to add comments and share videos with any and everyone via social media, email, etc.

www.academyofultrasound.com