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New echocardiography grads will support area heart care
One of NWTC's newest programs is a life-saver! Echocardiography teaches students to get cardiac images that help doctors diagnose and treat heart problems. Associate Dean Riley McDermid says graduates of the new program will help fight a major killer: heart disease.
"They’re taking the images that will help a cardiologist diagnose a patient," she said recently. "The more accurate their work, the better the diagnosis. You can help provide the solution to save a life. And with heart disease being the number one killer in the nation, there’s a lot of opportunity in this field."
Salary should be high for echocardiography technicians
McDermid said there is no question about grads finding jobs in their field. Graduates are expected to be in high demand because hospital and clinical employers drove the creation and design of the new associate degree.
"Employers really have been requesting this program," McDermid said. "There’s a huge need in our state and our communities, so we’re responding to that. We did a survey to ask whether they would hire echocardiology techs at the associate degree level, and the resounding answer was yes. We need them."
Echocardiography is expected to be a high-wage program, with similar graduates earning $68,000 in a strong job market. The environment will be fast-paced with "no sitting behind a desk getting bored." And because each patient's body is different, customizing services for each person adds variety. The program is similar to another health imaging program, Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Admission will be competitive, with only 10 students accepted per year, and "they have to be ready to study, and study differently, and put the time in. Then there are the rigors of the program. It's a high-wage program for a reason."
Cardiac imaging careers are designed to make a differenceMcDermid said that one of the most exciting aspects of a career in echocardiography is the imact you make.
"Heart disease is the number one killer in the nation. You’re having an impact on that disease. You also have a chance to reduce stress for a patient at a very scary time for them. If you’re passionate about helping people, you’ll be hands-on in the trenches working to help."
What will I learn in an Echocardiography degree program?
For further information, check out the Echocardiography Associate Degree program page.
Who can I talk to about an Echocardiography career path?
To connect with staff in Admissions, Financial Aid and other student services, check out all the ways to contact NWTC!
Riley McDermid is Associate Dean in Health Sciences and is passionate about helping more students enroll in health care and make a difference.
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