What Does A Cardiac Sonographer Do?

A cardiac sonographer specializes in operating imaging technologies to help physicians assess and determine the cardiac conditions of patients. Aside from coordinating with physicians, a cardiac sonographer also interacts with patients, providing them assistance throughout the process, and discussing the extent of procedures. Typically, a cardiac sonographer's responsibilities revolve around coordinating with hospital staff to gather patient information, sharing test results to physicians promptly, and even managing the scheduling of patients, all in adherence to the hospital's policies and regulations.

Here are the duties and responsibilities that a Cardiac Sonographer is likely to perform in their role.

  • Position patient and place EKG leads in proper positions.
  • Create and maintain collaborative working relationships with diverse patients, coworkers and management in order to achieve hospital objectives.
  • Create detailed preliminary reports via a PACS system.
  • Perform abdominal, ob-gynecology, small parts, vascular, trauma and pediatric ultrasound exams
  • Perform adult echocardiograms including Doppler on out-patients in a private practice setting.
  • Perform echocardiograms within hospital and outpatient facilities in compliance with ICAEL accreditation standards.
  • Perform transthoracic echocardiograms, stress echocardiograms, and carotid Doppler exams as requested by physicians.
  • Maintain equipment, treadmill room and supply inventory.
  • Perform adult echoes on a Philips IE33 ultrasound machine.
  • Gain experience and knowledge on the Philips IE33 ultrasound machine.
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Cardiac Sonographer Traits
Technical skills
Technical skills refer to specific ability or knowledge that is needed to carry out every day responsibilities, such as physical or digital tasks.
Physical stamina
Physical stamina shows that you are able to exert your energy for long periods of time without tiring.
Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Cardiac Sonographer Overview

When compared to other jobs, cardiac sonographer careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 14% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a cardiac sonographer by 2028 is 18,000.

Cardiac sonographers typically earn $70,981 annually, which breaks down to $34.13 an hour. However, cardiac sonographers can earn anywhere from upwards of $60,000 to $83,000 a year. This means that the top-earning cardiac sonographers make $23,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Let's say you're interested in learning about careers that are similar to cardiac sonographers just so you can understand the differences in skills, salaries and education. Well, you've come to the right place. We've compiled information regarding all of that for becoming an ultrasound tester, x-ray technician, extern-ultrasound technologist, and ultrasound technologist. The information on how these careers compare to a cardiac sonographer will come later.

Cardiac Sonographer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Cardiac Sonographers are proficient in Ultrasound, Ardms, and Rdcs. They’re also known for soft skills such as Technical skills, Physical stamina, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Cardiac Sonographers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Ultrasound, 10%

    Performed cardiac diagnostic ultrasounds on adult and pediatric patients, including trans-esophageal.

  • Ardms, 10%

    Registered Cardiac Sonographer Supervisor: Dr. John Schmedtje Duties: Received ARDMS registry in adult echo.

  • Rdcs, 9%

    Received my RDCS in 2006.

  • Patient Care, 9%

    Credited for utilizing Lean Management techniques to standardize protocols implemented throughout department to improve patient care and prepare for accreditation.

  • BLS, 8%

    Certified in BLS for Healthcare Providers CPR and AED.

  • Heart, 8%

    Worked alongside Cardiologist to identify abnormalities of heart function.

Ultrasound, ardms, and rdcs aren't the only skills cardiac sonographers have. In fact, there's a whole list of personality traits that are commonly seen among them, including:

  • Technical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a cardiac sonographer to have. Diagnostic imaging workers must understand how to operate complex machinery and computerized instruments. A cardiac sonographer is able to use technical skills in the following example: served as clinical site instructor and provided training for students within the sonography program at delaware technical and community college.
  • Yet, another important trait for a is physical stamina. Diagnostic imaging workers are on their feet for long periods and must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance. Here's an example of how cardiac sonographers are able to utilize physical stamina: "graduated in 1984 guru nanak dev university india bachelors in physical education ranked 1st in class."
  • Interpersonal skills is also an important skill for cardiac sonographers to have. Diagnostic imaging workers must work closely with patients. Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "demonstrated patient care skills, interpersonal skills, computer skills, and experience with philips ultrasound machine."
  • It's essential that a cardiac sonographer have detail oriented. Diagnostic imaging workers must follow precise instructions to obtain the images needed to diagnose and treat patients detail oriented is extremely important for cardiac sonographers to have. As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "oriented and trained cardiology fellows in instrument technique and procedures."
  • See the full list of cardiac sonographer skills.

    Over half of cardiac sonographers have graduated with a bachelor's degree. In fact, it seems 19.0% of people who became a cardiac sonographer earned a bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree roughly 3.5% in this career have them. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it seems it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some cardiac sonographers have a college degree. But about one out of every two cardiac sonographers didn't attend college at all.

    The cardiac sonographers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied medical technician and business, while a small population of cardiac sonographers studied nursing and health care administration.

    Now that you have your degree, you're ready to become a cardiac sonographer. So where do you start applying? According to our research, cardiac sonographers are mostly hired by HCA Healthcare, Baylor Scott & White Health, and Novant Health. Now is a good time to apply as HCA Healthcare has 11 cardiac sonographers job openings, and there are 9 at Baylor Scott & White Health and 7 at Novant Health.

    But if you want to earn the most bang for your buck, cardiac sonographers tend to earn the biggest salaries at UnitedHealth Group, Genesis Health Services, and Lifetime. Take UnitedHealth Group for example. The median cardiac sonographer salary is $83,663. At Genesis Health Services, cardiac sonographers earn an average of $81,686, while the average at Lifetime is $80,714. Now before you get too googly-eyed over those digits, take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies. While UnitedHealth Group has 0 job listings for cardiac sonographers, Genesis Health Services and Lifetime only have 0 and 3 job listings respectively.

    View more details on cardiac sonographer salaries across the United States.

    Salaries aside, the most respected cardiac sonographers are working at Mount Sinai Health System, Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Digirad. By assessing which schools cardiac sonographers mainly earn their degrees, and comparing that with the companies that have hired a significant number of cardiac sonographers from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, we're able to determine the most prestigious companies.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious cardiac sonographers are:

      What Ultrasound Testers Do

      First up to compare is the job of a ultrasound tester. Let's start with salary. Generally speaking, ultrasound testers receive $14,985 lower pay than cardiac sonographers per year.

      The two careers find some common ground in the skills department though. Both cardiac sonographers and ultrasound testers alike are skilled in ultrasound, patient care, and ekg.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A cardiac sonographer is more likely to need to be skilled in registry, ardms, rdcs, and bls. Whereas a ultrasound tester requires skills like arrt, technologist, cpr, and x-ray equipment. Just by understanding these different skills you can see how truly different these careers are.

      The education of ultrasound testers is a bit different than the education of cardiac sonographers in that they tend to reach similar levels of education. Ultrasound testers are 3.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a cardiac sonographer. Additionally, they're 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an X-Ray Technician?

      An X-Ray Technician operates the medical equipment used to take radiographic images of specific parts of a patient's body. They also interview the patients, determine their exact medical concerns, collect the surveyed data, and document it in the system.

      On deck, we have x-ray technicians. This career brings along a lower average salary of $18,119, which is lower than the salary of cardiac sonographers per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's the skills they need. Both cardiac sonographers and x-ray technicians are known to have skills such as ultrasound, patient care, and m-mode.

      But both careers also require different skills. While cardiac sonographer also utilizes skills like registry, ardms, rdcs, and bls, the typical x-ray technician is skilled in areas like ob, abdomen, small parts, and gyn. This is just the beginning of what makes these two careers so very different.

      It's been discovered that x-ray technicians earn lower salaries compared to the other career, but we wanted to find out where x-ray technicians earned the most pay. The answer? The manufacturing industry. The average salary in the industry is $59,494. In contrast, cardiac sonographers earn the highest paychecks in the non profits with an average salary of $71,500.

      So you need to know how much education you're going to need. As it turns out x-ray technicians study at similar levels of education than cardiac sonographers. They're 0.6% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Extern-Ultrasound Technologist Compares

      In the hole for a comparison are extern-ultrasound technologists. On an average basis, this career brings in higher money than cardiac sonographers with a higher salary of $7,011 annually.

      Cardiac sonographers and extern-ultrasound technologists both have similar skills such as ultrasound, ardms, and patient care, but they differ in skills past that.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For starters, cardiac sonographers are more likely to have skills like registry, rdcs, bls, and heart. But a extern-ultrasound technologist will probably be skilled in independent judgment, interventional procedures, radiology, and emergency. This shows just how different these careers can be.

      When it comes down to education, extern-ultrasound technologists tend to reach similar levels than cardiac sonographers. Especially since they're 2.5% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Ultrasound Technologist

      An Ultrasound Technologist performs diagnostic sonographic examinations though utilizing ultrasonic equipment. They are responsible for locating, evaluating, and recording critical functional, pathological, and anatomical data.

      Now, we'll compare ultrasound technologists who are known for averaging a lower pay when compared to cardiac sonographers. In fact, the difference is about $912 per year.

      In general, ultrasound technologists make a higher salary in the health care industry with an average of $70,087.

      When it comes to education, these two careers couldn't be more different. For example, ultrasound technologists typically reach similar levels of education than cardiac sonographers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 1.0% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by a whopping 0.4%.