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Cardiovascular Sonography, AS

Have Questions? Speak to an Admissions Coordinator

Cardiovascular Sonography, AS Perks

  • This Associate of Science degree in sonography is a 21-month program.
  • Students are able to sit for adult echocardiography and vascular technology examinations administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
  • In addition to student-focused instruction and laboratory learning experiences, students gain hands-on experience through supervised clinical training at hospitals and clinics locally and throughout the United States.

A cardiovascular sonographer aids physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the cardiovascular system. Using ultrasound and other technology, sonographers collect and evaluate images of the heart, the heart valves and related blood vessels.

Cardiovascular sonographers also evaluate, analyze and record information related to blood vessel anatomy and blood flow of the vessels.

Cardiovascular sonographers work closely with patients. People who choose this career find it rewarding because they are helping others while making a good living doing it.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers (including cardiovasular sonographers, cardiovascular technologists/technicians and vascular technologists) will have a much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 17 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Salary ranges vary by state, experience level and type of healthcare facility. The BLS reported that the national median salary in May 2018 for diagnostic medical sonographers (including cardiovasular sonographers, cardiovascular technologists/technicians and vascular technologists) was about $67,080 annually.

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Accreditation

The Cardiovascular Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs  upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 US Highway 19 N, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727-210-2350. www.caahep.org

CAAHEP

Costs & Financial Aid

NMC is committed to helping you find every avenue to finance your education. View the Tuition by Program & Degree page for a comprehensive list of all fees.

NMC encourages students to apply for all types of assistance for which they are qualified.  Potential resources for this program include:

Student Grants or Loans 

Visit our Financial Aid page to learn more about what's available and how to apply.

Employee Education Benefits

Contact your organization's human resources office to find out what's available.

Employees of Methodist Health System can find details on the MHS Intranet.  Under Human Resources select either MHS Benefits or MJE Benefits then scroll down to Pursuing Your Dreams.

NMC Scholarships 

NMC scholarships consist of funds generously provided by the Methodist Hospital Foundation to assist our students.  View our Scholarships to learn more.

External Scholarships

Visit our Scholarships page to learn more.

Calculate Your Net Price Financial Aid
Cost Per Credit Hour $580

Admissions

Criteria

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • High school record and/or college academic record
  • ACT composite of 20 or above, if within 2 years of high school graduation
  • Fulfillment program technical standards
  • Resume
  • Job shadowing experience recommended
  • College record
  • Completion of all of the following general education prerequisite courses:
    • College Algebra (3)
    • Physics with Lab (4)
    • English Composition (3)
    • Introduction to Psychology or Lifespan Psychology (3)
    • Medical Terminology (1)
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4)
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4)
  • Technical Standards for performance
Deadlines

Currently accepting applications.

Requirements

To be considered for admission, the following items must be submitted to the Admissions Office:

Starting Term

Application Deadline

  • Fall (August) 2020
  • Currently accepting applications

Curriculum

The program requires a minimum of 70 credit hours. All students are required to complete specific coursework. This list should only be used as a curriculum guide. Course listings and required curriculum are subject to change. 

The echocardiography portion of the curriculum focuses on imaging of the heart, looking at the chambers, valves, vessels and functionality of the heart. Students also focus on the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system.

The vascular technology portion of the curriculum focuses on the anatomy of the circulatory system to help diagnose and treat conditions involving the venous and arterial systems, including the neck, arms, legs and abdomen.

Included within this list is the Educated Citizen Core Curriculum. All students seeking to complete an undergraduate degree at Nebraska Methodist College must complete this set of Arts and Sciences requirements. As an educated citizen, NMC graduates are competent practitioners and respond productively to the complex dynamics of the world, utilizing a diversity of disciplines and perspectives.

CVS ***
PROFESSIONAL ELECTIVE COURSE
3 credit hours
Consult Program Director for list of electives.

CVS 251*
DIRECTED CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
1-6 credit hours
In the final semester of the program, students may have the option of performing additional clinical experience depending on their interests. Areas may include but are not limited to vascular, adult echo, pediatrics and fetal echo. This experience is not meant to be comprehensive in nature, but to provide an introduction to a more specific area of interest. Note: Students interested in completing this course should communicate a semester in advance with their advisor and/or Clinical Coordinator. A clinical affiliation agreement must be in place for the student to participate.

CVS 420
CLINICAL EXTERNSHIP
1 - 6 credit hours
A clinical externship is an opportunity for a student to complete a clinical experience at a site other than the current approved program clinical affiliates. Note: Students interested in completing this course should communicate a semester in advance with their advisor and/or Clinical Coordinator. A clinical affiliation agreement must be in place for the student to participate.

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

CVS 360
CLINICAL REASONING
2 credit hours
Clinical reasoning is designed to sharpen the student's deductive reasoning and sonographic interpretation skills through the use of case studies and medical literature. The focus of the class will be on sonographic anatomy, developing a clinical hypothesis, and establishing a differential diagnosis for commonly encountered sonographic pathology in Vascular Technology and Adult Echocardiography.

CVS 286
CLINICAL PRACTICUM II
8 credit hours
As a continuation of Clinical Practicum I, students will continue to develop their Sonography skills under supervision of their clinical preceptor. The student will more actively participate in examinations, daily lab functions and patient care. In addition, students will continue to perform examinations in cardiac and vascular Sonography, with the addition of upper extremity imaging and physiological testing.

HPS 100
HEALTHCARE FUNDAMENTALS I
1 credit hour
This course will serve as an overview for all members of the healthcare delivery team. Focus will be placed on: the basic skills needed to perform quality patient care, relationships with other healthcare team members, patient safety, and scope of practice for each profession, vital signs, HIPAA, infection control, invasive procedures, and self-care.

CVS 110
VASCULAR ANATOMY & IMAGE OPTIMIZATION
2 credit hours
This course is designed to explore basic anatomy and imaging techniques of the vascular system. Students will begin performing carotid and lower extremity venous ultrasound examinations. This course will incorporate lab sessions to perform basic imaging optimization skills by scanning and understanding the basic knobology of the ultrasound equipment. Correlation of theory to practice will be measured through attendance, participation, quizzes, assignments, scanning assignments, and competency exams over the course of the semester.

CVS 111
CARDIAC ANATOMY & IMAGE OPTIMIZATION
2 credit hours
This course is designed to explore basic anatomy and imaging techniques of the cardiac system. Students will learn different basic cardiac images and optimization skills to achieve the best quality image. This course will incorporate lab sessions to start basic imaging, and learning basic knobology of the ultrasound equipment. Correlation of theory to practice will be measured through attendance, participation, quizzes, assignments, scanning assignments, and competency exams over the course of the semester.

DMS 205
SONOGRAPHIC PHYSICS I
2 credit hours
This course will introduce fundamental sonographic theory including terminology, equipment, basic transducer construction and function, introduction to Doppler, and adjusting system controls for image acquisition. This course will cover beginning concepts in sonographic physics including pulsed sound parameters, intensities, and interactions of sound with media, range equation, transducers, sound beams, and axial and lateral resolution.

DMS 140
APPLIED SECTIONAL ANATOMY
2 credit hours
This course provides an introduction to the basics of cross-sectional anatomy of the head, neck, chest, abdomen andpelvic anatomy with emphasis on structures visualized in diagnostic medical sonography, computerized tomography(CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine. The anatomy will be evaluated in multiple planes.

DMS 209
SONOGRAPHIC SEMINAR I
2 credit hours
This course will facilitate the student's entry into the field of diagnostic medical sonography and facilitate thetransition from student to healthcare professional through exploration of personal and professional values aswell as professional communication and thought processes. Topics include: DMS Program Portfolio, NMC'sEducated Citizen concepts, personal values, leadership, respect, professionalism and cultural competence.

DMS 306
SONOGRAPHIC PHYSICS II
2 credit hours
This course continues where DMS 206 leaves off. The following sonographic principles will be covered: real-time imaging, pulse echo instrumentation, displays and image processing, dynamic range, harmonics and contrast agents, hemodynamics, Doppler principles, Doppler optimization, artifacts, quality assurance and bioeffects.

CVS 220
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY I
3 credit hours
This course is designed to explore the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and imaging techniques of the Cardiac system. Students will describe the different views needed for an echocardiogram and be able to recognize characteristics of normal valves by 2D, color Doppler, and Doppler.

CVS 220L
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY I LAB
1 credit hour
The laboratory course will be used to enhance and reinforce material taught didactically in CVS 220. Students will learn scanning techniques in the laboratory on real-time ultrasound equipment. Correlation of theory to practice will be measured through attendance, scanning assignments and competency exams over the course of the semester.

CVS 221
VASCULAR ULTRASOUND I
3 credit hours
Students will explore the anatomy, hemodynamics, physiology and pathophysiology of the vascular system. Students will apply knowledge of disease processes. This course will focus on the sonographic appearances of various vascular examinations.

CVS 221L
VASCULAR ULTRASOUND I LAB
1 credit hour
The laboratory course will be used to enhance and reinforce material taught didactically in CVS 221. Students will learn scanning techniques in the laboratory on real-time ultrasound equipment. Correlation of theory to practice will be measured through scanning assignments and competency exams over the course of the semester.

CVS 310L
CARDIOVASCULAR LAB
1 credit hour
The laboratory course will be used to enhance and reinforce material taught didactically in CVS 320 and CVS 321. Students will learn scanning techniques in the laboratory on real-time ultrasound equipment. Correlation of theory to practice will be measured through attendance, scanning assignments and competency exams over the course of the semester. Students will be able to complete a full echocardiogram, lower extremity venous duplex, lower extremity arterial duplex, upper extremity venous duplex, upper extremity arterial duplex, cerebrovascular duplex, limited vascular abdominal imaging, ankle-brachial indices, and segmental arterial examinations by the end of the lab course.

CVS 325
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY II
2 credit hours
This course is designed to explore a variety of pathologies that can be present on an echocardiogram. Students will learn and perform measurements that are needed to evaluate pathologies on a case by case scenario. During this course students will also learn to read echocardiogram exams and create echo reports.

CVS 322
VASCULAR ULTRASOUND II
2 credit hours
This course will focus on expanding on vascular pathologies. Topics that will be covered are: abdominal evaluations, preoperative mapping, penile Dopplers, transcranial Doppler (TCD), quality assurance, and other conditions. The essential components of a case presentation are introduced. Students will present cases in an open forum for discussion and evaluation. Students will also expand on the principles of evidence based practice and research methods.

CVS 213
PRINCIPLES OF EKG
2 credit hours
This course will focus on EKG theory and interpretation. The student will learn how to perform an EKG on a patient, as well as learning to recognize basic rhythms and the components of an EKG. Students will also review case studies throughout this course.

CVS 281
CLINICAL PRACTICUM I
8 credit hours
Students are assigned to the clinical setting to begin their hands-on experience performing sonographic procedures and practice patient care skills. The student will start to develop skills to carry out sonographic examinations and gain the ability to recognize normal and abnormal sonographic patterns. The student will work closely with their clinical preceptor, as well as other staff technologists. Students will begin to perform examinations including transthoracic echocardiography, carotid duplex, lower extremity venous and arterial duplex, upper extremity venous and arterial duplex, ankle/brachial indices and segmental arterial pressures. Correlation of theory to practice is measured through attendance, clinical logs, and evaluations.

SSC 235
THE SOCIOLOGY OF CULTURE
3 credit hours
This course explores the ways in which human beings make and remake the meaning of their social world through the production of culture. It employs sociological methods to explore the construction of the dominant, white subculture in the United States. The same methodologies are employed to examine the construction of subcultures in the United States, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

SSC 325
APPLIED ANALYSIS OF RESEARCH
3 credit hours
Evidence-based practice is an important component of effective clinical management. This course allows students to develop skills in applied statistics and research while learning to critically examine healthcare information from a variety of sources, including but not limited to professional journals, governmental reports and public media.

SCI 206
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY/PHARMACOLOGY
4 credit hours
This survey course begins with a major focus on cellular function and pathology, including inflammation, infection, immune response, metabolism, and fluid disequilibria. These concepts serve as the foundation for the course as alterations in various bodily functions are examined. Alterations in body fluid and electrolyte homeostasis; fluid acid/base balance; gastrointestinal, urinary, respiratory, cardiac, endocrine and neurological functions are emphasized. The student will be introduced to pharmacological principles of commonly used classes of medications. The various drug classifications and general characteristics of drugs within a class are examined. These characteristics include the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, side effects, adverse effects and drug interactions of common drugs within each class.

Prerequisites: SCI 200

HUM 219
MEDICAL LAW AND ETHICS
3 credit hours
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of medical laws, ethical principles and bioethics for the healthcare practitioner. The application of these fundamental principles will be applied using current medical-legal issues and bioethical dilemmas of today. The course is designed to improve the student’s ability to critically think and make sound decisions that are in alignment with professional ethics and values, integrity and judgment. The course will include such areas as confidentiality, privacy, consents, responsible practice, professionalism, bioethical dilemmas, and key legal aspects that influence the healthcare practitioner.

HUM 150
THE WORLD OF IDEAS: CRITICAL REASONING AND RHETORIC
3 credit hours
There is a strong relationship between thinking clearly and expressing thoughts in formal writing and public speaking. Using the skills of logic and critical thinking, students will examine ideas, analyze and evaluate the arguments of others, and advocate for their own ideas. Students will be introduced to the NMC Portfolio process. HUM 150 is to be taken in the first semester, unless designated in the second semester by the program of study.

HUM ---
WORLD OF IDEAS: HUMANITIES ELECTIVE
3 credit hours
Students may choose a World of Ideas elective course. The course must be categorized within one of the following three sections: The World of Ideas: Human Connection The World of Ideas: Historical Perspectives The World of Ideas: The Arts See All Humanities Course Descriptions for specific course information.

COM 230/245
LANGUAGE & CULTURE IN HEALTHCARE
3 credit hours
COM 230 SPANISH COM 245 SIGN LANGUAGE Access to healthcare is greatly affected by one's command of language. Students in this course engage in the exploration of language and culture then apply these concepts to the healthcare environment through service-learning and community engagement. Students develop practical communication skills that enable effective cross-cultural work with health professionals and clients with backgrounds different from their own.

Meet the Faculty

Our nursing faculty are highly experienced and credentialed in their own fields, giving you constant real-world insight you can use. While any instructor can recite from a textbook, ours go a step further and draw from vast personal and professional experiences. Instructors here care as deeply about their students as they do the subject matter and it shows.
Meet the Faculty

Sonography Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Multispecialty Sonography and Cardiovascular Sonography programs will:

  1. Be competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains (applicable to Multispecialty Sonography students).
  2. Be competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains (applicable to Cardiovascular Sonography students).
  3. Be competent entry-level vascular technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains (applicable to Cardiovascular Sonography students).
  4. Model ethical and culturally sensitive professional attitudes, behaviors, and ethics that will encourage life-long learning, reflective practice and professional growth and development.
  5. Exhibit didactic and clinical skills that include the ability to perform age appropriate patient care by assessment of physiological and psychological status incorporating communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and decision making abilities.
  6. Attain the NMC Educated Citizen skills to become Reflective Individuals, Effective Communicators and Change Agents.

Cardiovascular Sonography Student Outcomes

OUTCOMES DATA AT GRADUATION
Assessment/Measurement 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Program Enrollment
Enrollment (At Start of Program)
7 6 7 8 8
Attrition
Attrition
1
(14%)
1
(17%)
2
(29%)
0
(0%)
3
(37%)
Graduation Rate
6
(86%)
5
(83%)
5
(71%)
8
(100%)
5
(63%)
CERTIFICATION/LICENSURE EXAM
Assessment/
Measurement
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Students Taking VASC Credential
5 3  5 8 5
Students Earning VASC Credential from ARDMS
5 3  5
Students Earning VASC Credential from CCI
0 0  0 0
Total Earning VASC Credential 5 3 5 8 5
VASC Credential Success Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Students Taking CARDIAC Credential 2 3 5 8 5
Students Earning CARDIAC Credential from ARDMS 2 3 4 8 5
Students Earning CARDIAC Credential from CCI 0 0 0 0 0
Total Earning CARDIAC Credential 2 3 4 8 5
CARDIAC Credential Success Rate 100% 100% 80% 100% 100%
OUTCOMES POST GRADUATION
Assessment/
Measurement
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Employment
Employment 6 Months after graduation
6 5 5 8 5
Job Placement Rate
100%  100%  100% 100%  100% 

Technical Standards of Performance for DMS Students

The purpose of this policy is to determine the physical and emotional abilities of a student in the Department in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991.

Policy:
It is your responsibility to understand the duties, responsibilities, skills and abilities required of your chosen program/profession. In addition to the technical standards as described above, please review the information regarding Diagnostic Medical Sonography at the O*NET website.

Procedure:

  1. Behavioral and Social Skills - Possess qualities of compassion, integrity, empathy and interpersonal skills. Possess emotional health necessary to effectively complete professional responsibilities.
  2. Communication - Read, write, speak, hear, and observe patients to effectively communicate the patient's condition and interact with the patient and other healthcare individuals.
  3. Integrative and Quantitative Skills - Problem solve utilizing computation, synthesis, and analysis. Visualize and analyze three dimensional relationships.
  4. Motor and Functional Abilities - Perform therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.
    *Sonography students must assist with moving and lifting patients and equipment of up to 50 lbs or more, up to 50% of the time. Visual abilities are necessary for viewing the ultrasound screen 85% of the time. This is adapted from Methodist Health System Performance Development Plan -Job Description for the sonographer
  5. Observation - Use instruments requiring sight, e.g., ultrasound and radiographic equipment, health assessment tools and devices, i.e. blood pressure cuff, stethoscope,etc. Make observations and evaluations. Observe results of treatment and reactions.

Sonography Admissions Essay

For students applying to Multispecialty Sonography, AS or BS; or Cardiovascular Sonography, AS or BS.

Please develop a thoughtful and organized response to each of the numbered prompts below. Use this as a chance to let the admissions committee get to know you, what your motivation to become a sonographer is, and what excites you to be a part of the field of diagnostic medical sonography.

The admissions committee is looking for responses that are well supported and use appropriate style and grammar.

Your complete statement should not exceed 1,000 words. If you use any references in the following answers, it is expected that you follow APA formatting guidelines. You may attach your statement to an email and submit it to the Admissions Office at admissions@methodistcollege.edu.

Instances of plagiarism within an applicant's written statement will disqualify them for acceptance to Nebraska Methodist College due to the College's commitment to academic integrity and stringent plagiarism policies.

  1. An NMC graduate is an educated citizen who exhibits breadth of learning through the liberal arts and sciences traditions in concert with professional education. Our goal as an institution is that graduates of NMC will be able to articulate and demonstrate growth in the following areas: as reflective individuals, as effective communicators and as change agents. Considering the educated citizen goals, describe how you would envision using these characteristics as a sonographer. 
  2. Please address what or who has influenced your decision to pursue a career in healthcare.
  3. Provide an example of a difficult situation or dilemma and describe how you demonstrated resilience.
  4. How would you explain the field of sonography (Cardiovascular or Multispecialty/Diagnostic Medical Sonography based on the program to which you are applying) to a family friend not in the health care field?
  5. You are working on a group project and one of the members wants to approach the project drastically different from your own ideas. How do you proceed?
  6. Outline the steps you will take to ensure your success in this academically rigorous and time-intensive program. Specifically discuss how you will balance other roles and responsibilities in your life during this time. Please consider addressing relationships, employment, financial obligations and any additional priorities in your response.
  7. If you have job shadowed in sonography, tell us about that experience and how it confirmed that this is the right career choice for you. If you have not shadowed, please respond: Not Applicable.
  8. Address any and all D's, F's, W's or other discrepancies on your transcripts. If you do not have any D's, F's or W's please respond: Not Applicable. 

Professional Resources

Cardiovascular Sonography Blog Posts

Cardiovascular Sonography Degree Guide

Cardiovascular Sonography Degree Guide

Admissions Requirements, Example Plan of Study and More
Download the Guide