Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (Fast Track) | St. Clair College
Fast Track
Two Year - Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Starts: September

Emergency Alternate Delivery Plan:
Winter 2024 Emergency Alternate Delivery

Contact:
Sze-Lin (Jerilyn) Roznawski
519-972-2727 ext. 5225

Program Overview

Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographers (DCS) utilize high-frequency sound waves to assist physicians in making heart health diagnoses. They perform sonographic procedures on the heart and determine which images to submit for review to the primary care physician. This graduate certificate program would be of interest to graduates of applied health science programs such as Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Technology, Nursing and Human Kinetics.

The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program will prepare students to develop theoretical and clinical competency skills required in the field of cardiac sonography and will also allow them to gain extensive laboratory and clinical experience, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

Program Highlights

  • This hybrid program is offered mostly as online lectures and in-person labs in the afternoon/evenings/weekends.
  • Students who have previously graduated from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program or Cardiovascular Technology program may be eligible for transfer credits.
  • This is a fast-track program to be completed in 16 months of continuous study. The program includes 2 semesters of mostly online lectures and in-person labs, followed by 2 semesters of clinical placements.
  • The program will allow students to participate in two 12-week semesters of clinical training and meet the competencies outlined in the Sonography Canada National Competency Profile (NCP).

Accreditation

St. Clair College's Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program was granted a two-year Accredited with condition status in 2022, through EQual - ACCREDITATION CANADA. Students must graduate from an accredited educational program to qualify to complete the Sonography Canada credentialing examinations and register with the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO) to be eligible to work in Ontario.

Career Opportunities

Diagnostic cardiac sonographers operate ultrasound equipment and use non-invasive cardiovascular technology equipment to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart and blood vessel conditions. They perform echocardiograms, or ultrasound imaging, to evaluate different aspects of the heart such as chamber size, valve function, and blood flow and to produce and record images of the cardiac system. While diagnostic cardiac sonographers do not diagnose patients, they work with physicians in doing so and may assist in other diagnostic procedures.

Graduates of this continuous 16-month certificate program may work in hospitals, medical offices, private clinics, and independent cardiac testing centres.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess one of the following qualifications:

  • A graduate of a registered health professions Diploma or Advanced Diploma program

    • Examples of registered health professions Diploma or Advanced Diploma programs include but are not limited to Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Radiation Technology, Respiratory Therapist, Registered Practical Nursing, Cardiovascular Technology, Registered Massage Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapy Assistant
  • A graduate of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a medical or health-related discipline with successful completion of six credit hours in Human Anatomy and Physiology, or equivalent, and six credit hours in health care-related courses (Ex: Patient Care, Medical Research, Medical Ethics, etc.)
    • Examples of medical or health-related degrees include but are not limited to BSc Kinesiology, BA Kinesiology, BSc Nursing, Bachelor of Medical Radiation Technology, Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences, MSc OT, and MSc PT

For more information, see the Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography Admission Requirements document also found on the Admission Procedures page.

Selection Procedure

Please note: This program is deemed "oversubscribed". As a result of the limited number of seats available.

Applicants who have completed a related health science program will be ranked utilizing their program GPA from their previous related health science degree or diploma. We will not include those courses related to Pre-Health Sciences program that were completed to gain admission into a health sciences program. Please note an official letter from your previous academic institution stating your program GPA may be requested.

Computer Proficiency Requirements

Students in this program must have basic computer literacy, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, Internet, and e-mail.

Courses

The curriculum below is for incoming students:

Semester 1
Code Title Credits
DCS101
Cardiac Sonography Basics
3
SON102
Sonography Physics I
3
DCS102
Introduction To Echocardiography
4
DCS103
Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology
3
DCS104
Applied Echocardiography
6
Semester 2
Code Title Credits
DCS200
Cardiac Pathophysiology
3
DCS201
Introduction to Patient Care
2
SON408
Sonography Physics II
3
DCS203
Congenital Heart Disease
4
DCS204
Valvular Disease
3
DCS205
Applied Echocardiography II
6
Semester 3
Code Title Credits
DCS300
Clinical Placement I
30
Semester 4
Code Title Credits
DCS400
Clinical Placement II
30

Synergy Placement Notice to Students

Pre-Placement Requirements

St. Clair College has partnered with Synergy Gateway Inc to provide you access to Verified - a platform that is used by students at other post-secondary institutions across Ontario for the purpose of digitally collecting placement requirements related to placement(s). Synergy Gateway Inc will provide support and clearance to help with your required documentation. You will be required to complete an Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) Review through the Verified platform in order to receive clearance to begin your clinical placement. You will be provided access to "Verified" via a secure username and password. You will use Verified to:

  • Upload your pre-placement requirements documentation for review.
  • Book your Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) service (this is a service that reviews the documents you have uploaded and provides you a status as to your eligibility to begin placements).
  • Track your ongoing requirements compliance.

Each student will receive log-in credentials to access Verified that will be sent to your St. Clair College email account. Please check your inbox, spam and junk mail folders for an email from the "Synergy Help Desk". You will be required to create a new password upon logging in. Be sure to view the video user guides and student guidebook to learn how to use the Verified platform.

Any associated fees for Synergy Gateway Inc to complete the pre-placement requirements are the sole responsibility of the students.

It is mandatory that students complete their ERV service through Verified to be eligible for your upcoming clinical placement.

Once your account has been set up with Verified, inquiries can be directed to Synergy Gateway Inc at www.Synergyhelps.com. You will need to submit a Help Desk ticket. Their Help Desk hours are Monday to Friday: 10 am - 3 pm, excluding holidays.

** Please note: If you are an International student completing a placement, you will require a valid COOP Work Permit.


Requirements

(Please refer to your Synergy communications for full details)


COVID-19 Vaccination Placement Notice to Students

This is to make you aware that, although a COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend St. Clair College, most of our placement sites require students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be eligible to attend. Students who are not fully vaccinated cannot be provided with a placement for their program and, therefore, will not be able to complete their programs. Please be advised that COVID-19 booster shots and/or other requirements may become mandatory for placement, however, they are not currently required.

  • Student placements are assigned at the discretion of the program.
  • Students may be required to obtain further clearances for placement at the discretion of the placement site.
  • Student personal requests for placement cannot be accommodated.
    • Placements may be outside the Windsor/Chatham area
  • Students are responsible for their own accommodation.
  • Students are responsible for their own travel and all costs of placements.
  • Students are responsible for the cost of scrub uniforms/footwear and equipment (such as a stethoscope, a watch with a second hand) and other incidentals as required.
  • Placement schedules may include shifts on days, afternoons, weekends and holidays throughout the program based on placement needs and agency availability.

Your Investment

The standard tuition and compulsory fees for the current academic year:

2024-2025 Tuition Fees  

For programs with Experiential Learning (Work Placement/Internship): Costs for accommodation, if needed, travel and related expenses are at the student's own expense. It is recommended for most programs, that students have access to a laptop or desktop computer while away from home during experiential learning periods.

Textbooks and other materials are in addition to Tuition Fees. Textbook prices may be found on the Bookstore website.

Please be aware that tuition and compulsory fees are subject to adjustment each year. The College reserves the right to change, amend or alter fees as necessary without notice or prejudice.

Smart Start Information

Program Physical Demands Analysis

Program Vocational Learning Outcomes

Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (Ontario College Graduate Certificate) (MTCU Code 71610)

The successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:

  1. Act in accordance with applicable regulations and professional guidelines to meet the standards of practice.
  2. Perform examination procedures, obtain images, correlate results, and analyze data using critical thinking and problem solving to meet diagnostic expectations of the health care team.
  3. Provide care that recognizes and respects the dignity, culture and individuality of patients and clients to ensure a safe and comfortable environment.
  4. Perform as an effective practitioner within cardiac sonography to be a valuable member of the multi-disciplinary health care team, assuming a leadership role as required.
  5. Communicate effectively and professionally as a member of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team using relevant terminology, behaviour and language appropriate to the recipient to ensure understanding and informed care.
  6. Operate ultrasound equipment safely and effectively to ensure patient/workplace safety.
  7. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.
  8. Apply advanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology to cardiac sonography protocol and procedures.
  9. Modify cardiac sonography protocols in response to abnormalities 'identified' in diagnostic images that may indicate disorders of the cardiovascular system.

Additional Information