Curriculum

Mayo Clinic echocardiography faculty member reviewing an anatomical model of a heart with a student

Student experiences

The curriculum outlined below is identical for all students, regardless of enrollment option or location. Lectures originate from both the Rochester and Scottsdale campuses and are made available to all students using interactive video-enabled classrooms. This system goes beyond traditional distance education and allows live face-to-face collaboration between students and faculty.

Classroom learning

During classroom lectures, you’ll learn the foundational skills needed to be a cardiac sonographer. The challenging, high-quality curriculum for the program is designed with courses in a specific sequence, progressively building on expertise as students advance through the program.

Scan lab

What you learn in the classroom will immediately transfer into scan labs where you’ll practice your techniques. The scan lab allows you to accurately practice your skills in a safe environment.

Hands-on clinical rotations

You’ll have hands-on training throughout the entire program, and progressively gain more clinical experience working with patients as you go through the program. During clinical rotations, you’ll work side-by-side with and be supervised by cardiologists, cardiac sonographers and registered nurses to gain practical experience in Mayo Clinic’s echocardiography laboratories. You’ll focus on cardiovascular anatomy and function, and further study the cardiovascular hemodynamics.

You’ll have the opportunity to train in many areas of echocardiography including stress, strain and 3-D echocardiography. In addition, you’ll also be able to observe in congenital echocardiography.

Facilities and faculty

Minnesota campus

The Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Laboratory in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the largest echocardiography laboratories in the world, features state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic, educational and research facilities.


More than 30 full-feature scanning stations are located throughout the Mayo Clinic complex. Approximately 90 cardiac sonographers perform more than 250 echocardiographic procedures each day. The Echocardiography Laboratory is also active in clinical research and education.

Arizona campus

Students on the Arizona campus are required to spend a week on the Rochester campus attending various labs and courses near the beginning of the program.

The Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Laboratory in Arizona is one of the most progressive laboratories in the Southwest. The lab administers approximately 132 exams a day and is staffed with 13 echocardiologists, 23 cardiac sonographers, one advanced clinical sonographer and three support staff. The lab is active in clinical research and education and is a clinical site for the Echocardiography Program.

 

 

Teaching faculty

The Echocardiography Program is coordinated and taught by the clinical, scientific, and technical staffs of Mayo Clinic. Faculty members are chosen for their commitment to teaching, as well as clinical practice or research. Many have published and lectured extensively and are highly regarded in their fields.

You'll have direct access to these individuals throughout your training, giving you the opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners in the field of echocardiography.

Sally Miller, BS, RDCS, RT(R), FASE
Program Director

Sally Miller has been the Echocardiography Program Director since December of 2014. She joined the Echocardiography program in 2008 as Clinical Coordinator and was then appointed Associate Program Director in 2013. Sally graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Echocardiography program in 2003 and began working in Mayo Clinic Rochester Echocardiography Lab as a cardiac sonographer. She then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in echocardiography from Oregon Institute of Technology. Prior to pursuing a career in echocardiography, Sally was a radiologic technologist.

Ms. Miller’s interests include adult echocardiography, 3-D echocardiography, and education. Sally is very involved with professional societies and has lectured at many national and regional conferences. She was awarded the recognition of Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography in 2011. She has also been involved in authoring educational material in echocardiography.

Ms. Miller is the instructor for the courses: Foundations in Echocardiography, Echocardiographic Applications, Ultrasound Physics I, Ultrasound Physics II, Professional Growth and Development, Research Project and Publication, and a portion of the Adult Echocardiography course. She also helps teach in the scan lab classes.

Katie Mancl, BS, RDCS(PE)
Associate Program Director, Academic Coordinator

Katie Mancl has been the current academic coordinator of the echocardiography program since the spring of 2015 and was appointed the associate program director in 2017. 

Ms. Mancl completed her Associate in Applied Science Degree in diagnostic medical sonography, echocardiography from Argosy University in 2007 and subsequently completed her Bachelor of Science from St. Mary's University in 2013. Following completion of the Echocardiography Program, she accepted a position in the Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Lab as an adult cardiac sonographer in February 2008. She has experience as a clinical instructor to both echocardiography students as well as cardiac fellows. She has additional training and expertise in 3-D echocardiography, stress echocardiography, interventional echocardiography, and pediatric/congenital echocardiography. Ms. Mancl is currently registered in both adult and pediatric echocardiography.

Abby Biers, RDCS
Clinical Coordinator

Abby Biers has been the clinical coordinator for the Echocardiography program since 2016. She graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Echocardiography Program in 2008 and became credentialed as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer (RDCS) through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Ms. Biers began working in the Mayo Clinic Rochester Echocardiography Lab in 2008 as a cardiac sonographer, becoming clinical instructor a year later. Her interests include 3-D echocardiography, as well as stress echocardiography. In September of 2017, she was appointed academic rank of Instructor in Medicine by Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. She is the primary instructor of the Clinical Practicum courses and scan labs, and also works with students in the clinical area.

Prior to her career in echocardiography, Ms. Biers attained her Associate of Applied Science degree in X-ray technology and worked as an X-ray tech for several years. She is currently in progress of completing her bachelor’s degree in human services.

Rochelle (Shelly) Tyler BS, RDCS, FASE
Academic and Clinical Coordinator, Arizona Campus

Rochelle (Shelly) Tyler received a certificate in adult echocardiography from Grossmont College, California, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon Tech. She has worked as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer since 1996. She began working at Mayo Clinic in Arizona in 1997 and has served as a faculty member for the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Echocardiography Program since 2007. Ms. Tyler teaches courses in anatomy and physiology, adult echocardiography, and clinical practicum. She also works as a clinical instructor and assists with the training of the cardiology fellows. Ms. Tyler is involved with interprofessional education with the cardiac nurse practitioner fellows, providing instruction and use of focused cardiac ultrasound devices.

Ms. Tyler has participated in research studies, named in peer-reviewed articles in several journals of echocardiography, including the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography the European Journal of Echocardiography and Echocardiography. She has presented at numerous national conferences. Ms. Tyler is a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography and holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Medicine.

David Pacheco, ACS, RDCS (AE, PE), FASE
Clinical Lead Educator, Arizona Campus

David Pacheco has been a cardiac sonographer since 2003 and joined the Echocardiography Program faculty in 2011. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, with a B.A. in kinesiology in 1998. He graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Echocardiography Program in 2003 and the Advanced Cardiovascular Program in 2017.

Mr. Pacheco is responsible for coordinating the student clinical experience and teaching courses related to echocardiography. He is also involved in training cardiology fellows the basics of cardiac ultrasound. He serves as faculty for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine assisting cardiologists with teaching introduction to echo to medical students.

Mr. Pacheco is a registered cardiac sonographer (RDCS) through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography with specialty credentials in pediatric echocardiography. He is also credentialed as an advanced cardiac sonographer (ACS) by Cardiac Credentialing International. He is a member of the American Society of Echocardiography and is recognized as Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography (FASE).

Rebecca Klug, BS, RDCS(PE), RT(R), FASE
Academic and Clinical Instructor

Rebecca (Becky) Klug joined the Echocardiography Program in 2011 as a clinical and scan lab instructor. In 2016, Ms. Klug began teaching the Stress Echocardiography course. She graduated from Mayo Clinic School of Health Science’s Echocardiography Program in 2010 and from the Radiography Program in 2003. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016.

Ms. Klug’s interests include adult congenital/pediatric echocardiography, adult/pediatric stress echocardiography, among being active in the education of students and fellows. Becky is an active member of the American Society of Echocardiography and received the award of Fellow in the American Society of Echocardiography in 2016.

Ms. Klug has attained academic rank as Instructor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. She has also been credentialed as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer, Advanced Cardiac Sonographer, Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer, and Radiologic Technologist.

Hours

This program is full-time (40 hours a week). Your learning schedule includes eight-hour days, five days a week.

Students enrolled in the program may find it difficult to hold outside employment and are therefore encouraged to avoid it if possible.

Course sequence

There are a total of 66 credits in the program.

1. Fall semester (14 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

HP 3021

Patient Care Techniques

1

ECHO 3011

Foundations of Echocardiography (with lab)

2

ECHO 3101

Cardiovascular Anatomy & Physiology

3

ECHO 3301

Clinical Practicum I (with lab)

8

2. Spring semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

ECHO 3202

Adult Echocardiography

6

ECHO 3302

Clinical Practicum II (with lab)

7

3. Summer semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

ECHO 3403

Echocardiographic Application

3

ECHO 3503

Stress Echocardiography

2

ECHO 4460

Special Procedures

2

ECHO 4303

Clinical Practicum III (with lab) 6

4. Fall semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

ECHO 4111

Ultrasound Physics I

2

ECHO 4211

Congenital Heart Disease I

3

ECHO 4401

Clinical Practicum IV

8

5. Spring semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

ECHO 4112

Ultrasound Physics II

2

ECHO 4501

Research Project and Publication I

1

ECHO 4540

Professional Growth and Development

1

ECHO 4402

Clinical Practicum V

9

Grading or evaluation

Academic and clinical coursework is graded on a 4.0 scale. Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools: written examination, demonstration of skills, self-assessment exercises and faculty reviews.

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Graduation and certification

After successfully completing this program, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. If you are enrolled in an affiliated bachelor's degree program, you will receive a bachelor's degree when you graduate from your college or university.

Graduates are also eligible to take the credentialing exams prior to graduation in order to be certified by time their training is complete.

You may take the registry exams offered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography to become credentialed as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS), or the registry exam through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International to become credentialed as a Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS). The exams are an additional expense to the student, not included in the tuition.

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