Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography Program Details
The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (DCS) certificate program, also known as the Echocardiography Technologist program, will prepare students to work in the field of sonography with a specialization in Adult Echocardiography. The DCS program at AIMS is programmatically accredited by CAAHEP for the Adult Echocardiography concentration.
Cardiac sonography is a highly specialized field that requires sonographers to use state of the art sonography equipment to image internal body structures (primarily the heart). Students in this program will also be trained in doppler echocardiography, EKG techniques, stress tests, and holter monitoring.
The primary goal of this program is to prepare competent, entry-level cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program requires students to complete 700 clinical hours prior to graduation. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. 80 clinical hours will be completed during the DCS 220 course, and the remaining 620 hours will be completed during the clinical internship. Students are not permitted to begin the internship until all required classroom and lab hours are completed.
AIMS Education has clinical affiliations with numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Students will be placed at one or more of these affiliated sites and must complete their clinical hours based on the schedule provided by the school. Internship schedules are based on the availability of clinical sites. All students (Day and Evening) must be prepared to complete their internship during normal business hours (Monday through Friday). The majority of clinical sites do not allow students to complete clinical hours in the evening or on the weekend.
Demand for qualified cardiac sonographers has been increasing in recent years. As the population continues to age, this demand will only increase further. Job growth over the next decade is expected to be much faster than average.
A large number of the jobs available in this field can be found in hospitals, and many of those will be in cardiology departments. There are also job opportunities available in physicians’ offices, primarily with cardiologists, or medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers.
Certification / Registry Exam Eligibility
AIMS students are eligible to take the Non-Invasive / Echocardiography registry examination offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). Graduates who pass the exam will earn the Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) credential.
DCS students are also eligible to take the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination after successfully completing the following course - DMS 220: Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation.
Up to 60 days prior to graduation, DCS students will be eligible to take the Adult Echocardiography specialty examination offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Graduates who have passed the SPI exam and the Adult Echocardiography specialty exam will earn the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential from ARDMS.
Eligibility requirements for the RCS and RDCS credentials are solely determined by CCI and ARDMS, and are subject to change at any time. CCI and ARDMS are independent organizations. AIMS does not guarantee certification/registry exam eligibility.