TJC diagnostic echocardiography program begins in Fall 2022

Beginning this fall, Tyler Junior College’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences will add diagnostic echocardiography to its ever-increasing list of healthcare programs.

Cardiac sonographers, also known as echocardiographers, are highly trained healthcare professionals who use imaging technology to help physicians diagnose heart problems in patients. They operate ultrasound equipment that provides moving 2D or 3D images of the heart and its chambers.

“With the emergence of the heart hospital, as well as the new medical school, the local demand for echocardiography is steadily rising,” said Wesley Speake, professor and chair of the TJC Diagnostic Sonography department. “It was time for TJC to step up and help fill that demand. This program also offers more opportunities for our students to have a career in the ever-growing world of sonography.”

This career field is expected to grow by 14 percent over the next decade, and the median annual salary is $70,380.

“I’m excited to be a part of the new TJC echocardiography program,” said Kalie Hall, who will be joining TJC in June as the program’s first professor. “We will be accepting eight students to begin with; so, for anyone looking for a career in an exciting medical profession, this is a great choice.”

The 24-month Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in this field is designed to prepare skilled professionals to perform diagnostic examinations, as requested by a physician, using equipment that produces high-frequency sound waves to visualize the heart. Students in this program will also be eligible to earn the enhanced Certificate in Diagnostic Sonography of Vascular Technology.

Program graduates will have the opportunity to sit for the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) in SPI (physics) and RDCS AE (registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer, adult echocardiography) upon receiving accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

The application deadline for the first program cohort is Wednesday, May 25. While TJC is an open-admissions institution, acceptance into the diagnostic echocardiography program is selective, based on criteria utilizing a point system and reviewed by an admissions committee.

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