Echocardiography Associates Degree in NJ with College Overviews
New Jersey has more than five colleges that offer associate's-level echocardiography programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the five largest schools to make an informed decision.
Echocardiography Degree Programs in New Jersey
Echocardiography, also known as cardiac sonography, uses ultrasound waves to create images of the heart, including the size, shape and movement of the valve and chambers, which can lead to a diagnosis of heart and cardiovascular conditions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most echocardiographers earn an associate's degree and obtain professional certification.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer credential with specializations in adult, pediatric and fetal echocardiography for eligible applicants. Graduating from a sonography program that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) can make it easier to become eligible to test through ARDMS. Another option for certification is Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), which offers the Registered Cardiac Sonographer credential. CAAHEP accreditation is less crucial for CCI certification, since CCI recognizes other accrediting bodies as well.
A limited number of schools in the United States offer a degree program in echocardiography, but students can pursue an associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography, which often includes courses in echocardiography. The following are the five largest schools in New Jersey that offer echocardiography training at the associate's degree level.
Bergen Community College
Bergen Community College, which is located in Paramus, was established in 1965 to meet the area's academic needs. Students interested in echocardiography can earn an Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and this program is CAAHEP-accredited. To be admitted into the 2-year program, students must take a Diagnostic Medical Sonography admissions test.
The program's two echocardiography courses explore methods for assessing patients' heart health, ways to analyze cardiovascular medications, approaches to interpret electrocardiograms and techniques for evaluating abnormal hearts. Students also complete five ultrasound clinics, including one in echocardiography, which involves gaining experience using ultrasound equipment while working under the supervision of a licensed sonographer.
Brookdale Community College
Lincroft's Brookdale Community College offers a variety of certificates and associate's degree programs that are designed to prepare students for their future careers, including an Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The degree program includes courses in anatomy and physiology, vascular imaging and echocardiography, patient care, abdominal sonography, medical terminology and professional issues in ultrasonography. Students learn how to analyze sonographic images, educate patients about sonographic procedures, provide patients with quality care and use sonographic imaging equipment safely. The program is not CAAHEP-accredited.
Burlington County College
Students at this Pemberton school can pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography that's CAAHEP-accredited. Applicants must be CPR-certified, undergo a background check and maintain liability or malpractice insurance and health insurance for the duration of the program. Through the program, students study diagnostic imaging, complete three clinical practicums and take three courses in sonographic interpretation. Other courses include ultrasound physics, medical terminology, cross-sectional anatomy and abdominal ultrasounds. Students can also join the diagnostic medical sonography club.
Gloucester County College
Gloucester County College, located in Sewell, is sponsored by the residents of Gloucester County. Students can pursue a variety of programs, including a 22-month Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The program, which holds accreditation from CAAHEP, consists of four semesters and three summer sessions, and it includes courses in ultrasound physics, patient care, abdominal sonography, vascular ultrasound, cross-section anatomy and echocardiography. Students complete three clinical practicums to meet the 1,160 hours of clinical instruction required to graduate. They can also join a student organization called the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Society of Ultrasonographers.
Union County College
Students living in the Cranford area can pursue certificate and degree programs at Union County College, New Jersey's oldest 2-year college. This CAAHEP-accredited program is actually offered through the Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A. Snyder Schools in Plainfield; student matriculate at Union County College through an agreement with the Snyder Schools. The Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program takes 28 months to complete when attended full-time. The program includes courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, patient care, ultrasound physics and instrumentation, modern healthcare and obstetrical sonography. Students also complete five labs in clinical sonography.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Echocardiography Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-13)|
|Bergen Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography|| $4,099 in-district* |
|Brookdale Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography|| $3,437 in-district* |
|Burlington County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography|| $3,615 in-district* |
|Gloucester County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography|| $3,770 in-district* |
|Union County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography|| $3,606 in-district* |
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
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