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Basic Echocardiography Techniques

Sonography > Echocardiography
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Materials Included:

  • text-icoText
  • video-icoVideo
  • 3d-anatomyAnatomy
  • simulation-icoSimulation
  • practiseQuiz
This module provides an introduction to echocardiography and teaches you the basic techniques required to begin echocardiographic examination of the heart.

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Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the most commonly performed cardiac ultrasound examination. This module provides an introduction to echocardiography and teaches you the basic techniques required to begin echocardiographic examination of the heart. The interactive simulator provides three scan scenarios that cover different situations you might encounter in the clinical environment. Online simulations enable students and practitioners to build or refresh knowledge and cognitive skills, and offer a safe practice environment so you can prepare for the real clinical world. Simulations also give you the opportunity to try out procedures that you might not otherwise experience. This module is ideal if you are studying for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) registry exams.

You’ll learn

  • typical protocols for transthoracic echocardiography
  • appropriate patient positioning and breathing techniques for cardiac ultrasound examinations
  • to identify and obtain suitable echocardiographic views
  • how 2D imaging (B-mode), M-mode and Doppler ultrasound are used to assess the heart
  • to practice, perfect and test your skills in performing an echocardiographic assessment of the heart
  • to better visualize and understand the anatomy and physiology of the heart and important cardiac landmarks, with our 3D model and illustrations
  • how to measure structures on ultrasound images
  • how to identify on images the signs and symptoms of cardiac disease
  • much more (see “Content Details” for more specific information).
Step 1 - Anatomical overview
Step 1.1 - Orientation
Step 1.1.1 - Anatomic directions
Step 1.1.2 - Scanning planes
Step 1.1.3 - On-screen orientation
Step 1.2 - Cross-sectional anatomy of the heart
Step 1.3 - Anatomical landmarks
Step 1.3.1 - Thoracic landmarks
Step 1.3.2 - Cardiac landmarks
Step 1.4 - Scanning windows
Step 2 - Introduction to echocardiography
Step 2.1 - Basic cardiac physiology
Step 2.2 - Signs and symptoms of cardiac disease
Step 2.3 - Types of echocardiography (TTE, TEE, Stress echo)
Step 2.3.1 - Transthoracic echocardiography
Step 2.3.2 - Transesophageal echocardiography
Step 2.3.3 - Stress echocardiography
Step 3 - Preprocedure considerations
Step 3.1 - Patient preparation
Step 3.2 - History
Step 3.3 - Patient position
Step 3.4 - Equipment
Step 4 - Basic techniques
Step 4.1 - Transducer selection
Step 4.2 - Transducer manipulation
Step 4.2.1 - Sweeping
Step 4.2.2 - Rotating
Step 4.2.3 - Rocking
Step 4.3 - Transducer pressure
Step 4.4 - Transmission gel
Step 4.5 - Breathing
Step 5 - Two-dimensional imaging
Step 5.1 - Image optimization
Step 5.1.1 - Sector size
Step 5.1.2 - Focal zones
Step 5.1.3 - Time gain compensation
Step 5.1.4 - Lateral gain compensation
Step 5.1.5 - Zoom
Step 5.1.6 - Gain
Step 5.1.7 - Dynamic range
Step 5.1.8 - Harmonics imaging
Step 6 - M-mode
Step 6.1 - Image optimization
Step 6.1.1 - Cursor alignment
Step 6.1.2 - Sweep speed
Step 6.1.3 - Gain
Step 7 - Doppler
Step 7.1 - Principles of Doppler ultrasound
Step 7.1.1 - Spectral Doppler
Step 7.1.2 - Color Doppler
Step 8 - Standard echocardiography procedure
Step 8.1 - Protocol
Step 8.2 - Annotation
Step 9 - 2D (B-mode) imaging
Step 9.1 - Parasternal long axis
Step 9.2 - Parasternal survey scan
Step 9.3 - Parasternal short axis views
Step 9.4 - Apical views
Step 9.4.1 - Apical four-chamber view
Step 9.4.2 - Apical five-chamber view
Step 9.4.3 - Apical two-chamber view
Step 9.4.4 - Apical long axis view
Step 9.5 - Subcostal views
Step 9.5.1 - Subcostal four-chamber view
Step 9.5.2 - Subcostal interatrial septal view
Step 9.5.3 - Subcostal view
Step 9.5.4 - Subcostal descending aorta view
Step 9.6 - Suprasternal views
Step 9.7 - Measurement
Step 9.7.1 - Example of 2D measurement in parasternal long axis view
Step 10 - M-mode
Step 10.1 - M-mode parasternal long axis
Step 10.1.1 - M-mode images of the right and left ventricles
Step 10.1.2 - M-mode images of the mitral valve
Step 10.1.3 - M-mode images of the aortic root and the left atrium
Step 10.2 - Parasternal short axis M-mode
Step 11 - Postprocedure considerations
Step 11.1 - Integration of test results with clinical findings
Step 11.2 - Patient
Step 11.3 - Preliminary report
Step 12 - Professional considerations
Step 12.1 - Ergonomics
Step 12.2 - Professional involvement
  • Define and explain ultrasound terminology
  • Identify orientation on the ultrasound image
  • Identify and obtain echocardiographic views
  • Identify cardiac landmarks
  • Describe the reason for, and demonstrate, patient positioning for cardiac ultrasound examinations
  • Manipulate the transducer in various planes
  • Describe patient breathing techniques in order to obtain optimum images and explain the reason for the techniques
  • Describe the technique for measuring structures on ultrasound images
  • Write a technical impression using a standard format
  • Demonstrate and describe methods for preventing musculoskeletal injury
  • Explain the importance of belonging to a professional organization

The SIMTICS modules are all easy to use and web-based. This means they are available at any time as long as the learner has an internet connection. No special hardware or other equipment is required, other than a computer mouse for use in the simulations. Each of the SIMTICS modules covers one specific procedure or topic in detail. Each module contains:

  • an online simulation (available in Learn and Test modes)
  • descriptive text, which explains exactly how to perform that particular procedure including
  • 2D images and a 3D model of applied anatomy for that particular topic
  • a step by step video demonstration by an expert
  • a quiz
  • a personal logbook that keeps track of all the modules the learner has studied and how long

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