Demand for trained professionals in allied healthcare careers such as cardiac sonography and diagnostic medical sonography is rapidly increasing in Canada. Suitable for students who want a career in healthcare without spending years in medical school, to professionals looking for a job change, the growing field of sonography is a suitable choice.
Within sonography, one may choose the field which suits their skills and qualities. To help you make a decision, we have outlined the main differences between diagnostic medical sonography and cardiac sonography. From job specifications to training to salaries, listed are the essential details to know before choosing your career path.
How Sonography Works?
Sonograms, also known as ultrasounds, at a basic level, use high-frequency sound waves to see through solid material and create dynamic images of tissues, bones, and organs. Sonography is used to visualize blood flow, babies, and tumors. Due to accurate visualization, sonography applies to the practice of many allied health specialties.
Sonography is a diverse field and has many specializations that one can explore. In this blog post, we will cover cardiac sonography and diagnostic medical sonography.
What is Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography?
Diagnostic cardiac sonographers knew as echocardiography technologists. Although the two terms are used interchangeably, training programs will use specific names as the regulatory authority permits. Cardiac sonographers use ultrasound to look at the human heart. The structure of the heart and blood flow are two primary concern areas.
Using the latest ultrasound technology, professionals can create a three-dimensional image of a patient’s heart and see blood flowing within. Used to diagnose heart issues such as fatty tissue build up or tumors, cardiac sonographers recognize any heart conditions and refer to a specialist when necessary.
Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography Training Requirements
The training for cardiac sonography in Canada varies depending on which province you are planning to work in. The training varies between 18-24 months (about two years), and most programs cover several subjects and foundational courses such as anatomy & physiology and medical terminology.
Sonographers require a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. Thus, apart from physics and instrumentation involved in sonography, a good training program must emphasize patient care skills.
Psychomotor skills – hand and eye coordination are essential for students to properly maneuver the ultrasound wand for better imaging and precise diagnosis. Students also learn the technical characteristics of the ultrasound machines as they will be responsible for maintaining them.
The diagnostic cardiac sonography diploma at BizTech College also covers four in-demand modules – Stress echocardiography, 12-Lead ECG, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Intravenous Starts and Phlebotomy. These modules give students transferable skills and a preference among employers.
Sonographers in Canada are regulated with the CMRTO, and to practice in the field, one must be certified by Sonography Canada. And to work as a certified cardiac sonographer in Ontario, you need to obtain the credential – Canadian Registered Cardiac Sonographer Certification (CRCS)
Why get certified? Besides boosting your employment opportunities, certification paired with experience can lead to career advancement and better earning.
The job outlook for cardiac sonographers in Canada?
If you are looking for an excellent reason to study cardiac sonography, then growth in employment opportunities is sure to boost your confidence. According to Job Bank Canada, the job outlook for professionals working in sonography will be good. Change in the profession will lead to several new positions. Cardiac sonographers usually work in hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers, cardiologist offices, and private clinics.
Cardiac sonographers usually earn between $25.00/hour and $44.00/hour in Ontario.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography: How is it different than Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography?
Sonography in practice is quite similar to what has been mentioned above. The key difference is that diagnostic medical sonography programs are longer and focus on the available concentration of ultrasound. Following are the key differences in both domains:
Unlike cardiac sonography, diagnostic medical sonography programs usually take more than two years. However, the length of the program varies since medical sonography programs cover multiple specialties.
Training for Medical Sonography
As diagnostic medical sonography covers a much more comprehensive range of specialties, students will learn additional subjects. For example, anatomy of the reproductive system, abdomen, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues.
Also, students learn how to use an ultrasound machine on various body parts, recognizing, diagnosing specific conditions, and patient care.
To work as a diagnostic medical sonographer in Canada, you need to obtain Canadian Registered Generalist Sonographer (CRGS) credential.
Employment & Salaries
Job prospects for diagnostic medical sonographers in Ontario are suitable for the next three years. Due to strain on healthcare, demand for certified professionals is rapidly increasing, and the market well absorbs sonographers.
Diagnostic medical sonographers usually earn between $25.00/hour and $44.00/hour in Ontario.
Interested in sonography as a career?
Both cardiac and medical sonography offers excellent career opportunities for students.
If you want to learn more about the programs or which field suits you personally, our subject matter experts can help you.
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