Choosing a Program
Currently, two programs are available from Loma Linda University: Certificate in Cardiac Sonography and Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
The cardiac track focuses on the heart.
The Bachelor’s degree focuses on the abdominal organs, OB-GYN, small parts (breast, thyroid, etc.) and the vascular system.
Choose the one that fits your interest.
The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a 27-month program. Sonography is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, obstetrics & gynecology, prostate, and blood vessels. The program begins each Summer quarter in June, with 12-14 students. This program does not require a previous degree but has prerequisites and requirements.
Cardiac sonographers, or echocardiographers, use non-invasive cardiovascular technology equipment to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart and blood vessel conditions. The ideal candidate for this career has excellent communication skills in order to convey scientific information to doctors, as well as a good bedside manner for dealing with patients.
Cardiac sonographers perform echocardiograms, or ultrasound imaging, to evaluate different aspects of the heart, such as chamber size, valve function and blood flow. They review patient files and must be familiar with basic cardiac conditions in order to recognize and identify any abnormalities.
While cardiac sonographers do not themselves diagnose patients, they work with physicians in doing so or may assist in other diagnostic procedures. Other duties may include scheduling appointments, explaining procedures to patients and maintaining ultrasound equipment.
The Certificate in Cardiac Sonography is a 12-month program. Coursework and clinical time in this program involves in-depth concentrated study of assessment of the heart. It includes extensive study of the heart hemodynamics, normal anatomy, disease processes, and patient treatment. The Cardiac Sonography program begins each Fall. This program prepares students to sit for the ARDMS board exam. All students are required to take and pass the ARDMS Standard Physics and Instrumentation (SPI) exam before completion of the program. This program does require a previous associate's or bachelor's degree in any field.