The Claude W. Smith M.D. School of Cardiovascular Technology at MUHA

Purpose

The Claude W. Smith M.Dm School of Cardiovascular Technology at MUHA offers an 18-month CAAHEP accredited cardiovascular sonography program dedicated to training healthcare professionals in the field of noninvasive vascular and adult echocardiography. Utilizing ultrasound imaging equipment, students will successfully recognize, calculate, interpret, and analyze data and will be prepared to perform diagnostic examinations.

Goals

In keeping with the general purpose and objectives of MUHA, the following goals for the Claude W Smith, M.D. School of Cardiovascular Technology have been identified.
These are:

Adult Echocardiography and Noninvasive Vascular Study:

  1. Educate the student in Sonography Physical Principals, Adult Echocardiography and Non-Invasive Vascular Sonography and Testing.
  2. Provide ‘Hands-On’ training in a busy lab environment with qualified sonographers and preceptors necessary to the development of skills and knowledge required for quality entry level sonographers entering the field. Students will have opportunity to train in the following modalities: Adult Transthoracic and Transesophageal Echocardiography, Structural heart procedures, emergency applications of Echocardiography, Peripheral Vascular Arterial and Venous Sonography, Physiologic Arterial Testing, and Extracranial Duplex Vascular Sonography.
  3. To prepare the students to qualify for and successfully pass the national credentialing examinations offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in Adult Echo and Vascular Technology and/or the RVS and RCS credentials offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). Between 2007 and 2018, 98% of our graduates have earned national credentials.

In addition, we strive to

  • To provide a quality learning environment for staff and student.
  • Work closely with the community by providing diagnostic exams to local clinics that serve the needs of the uninsured and underinsured.
  • Provide and/or identify continuing education opportunities for the sonographer.
  • Create opportunities for the health care community to meet their growing needs for high quality trained entry level CV Sonographers. Between 2007 and 2018 we have a 100% employment rate for graduates that have earned credentials.
  • Instill in the students a professional and ethical attitude.

Minimum Expectations

Adult Echocardiography

To prepare competent entry-level cardiovascular technologist in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains for adult echocardiography.

Non-Invasive Vascular

To prepare competent entry-level cardiovascular technologist in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains for non-invasive vascular study.

Joint Review Committee for Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT) Standards

The Cardiovascular Technology program is based on the Standards and Guidelines for Cardiovascular Technology Educational Programs as established by the Joint Review Committee for Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT). These essentials govern areas in addition to areas covered in the lab orientation manual and the course catalog.

Admission Requirements

The following criteria have been established to screen applicants for the cardiovascular ultrasound program offered by MUHA. These requirements are instituted in an attempt to offer a fair and equitable selection process that will support the mission statement of MUHA and ensure success of the selected students. These requirements are intended to be fair, forthright, and meet the growing demands of acceptance into the CWS School of Cardiovascular Technology.

In addition to each application, official transcripts from all institutions attended and two letters of recommendation must be submitted at the time of application. If transcripts and/or letters of recommendation are not provided, the application will be deemed incomplete and will not be valid until the required documentation is supplied. All of the prerequisite courses should be completed prior to submitting application.

Course Prerequisites

The MINIMUM educational requirement is EITHER transcripts from the University of South Carolina showing progress towards a BSCVT degree OR thirty credit hours of post-high school education (post high school educational classes must include the following five classes):

  1. Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab 4 credits
  2. Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab 4 credits
  3. Medical Terminology
  4. College Algebra
  5. English Composition 

A MINIMUM overall GPA of 2.5 is required for the candidate to be considered for admission.

Physical Facilities & Equipment Used in Class

The Claude W Smith, M.D. School of Cardiovascular Technology is located on the 1st floor of 2001 Laurel St. Columbia, SC 29204.

The program has a traditional classroom with tables and chairs that provide a comfortable learning experience for an average of 18 students with appropriate audiovisual equipment for lectures. There are sufficient IT resources to ensure students are provided materials applicable to the course work. There is also a scanning laboratory that consists of 6 Cardiovascular Sonography systems and supplies that would be utilized in the physical, “hands on” training portion of the program.

Additionally, there is a faculty office, break/lounge area, and bathrooms,

Requirements For Obtaining Licensure, Certification Advantageous For the Field

Successful completion of a noninvasive cardiovascular technology program will earn a graduate a certificate in adult echocardiography and vascular technology.

The graduate will be eligible for national credentialing with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular International (CCI).

Please see ARDMS.org and CCI-online.org for details about the requirements for the adult echocardiography and vascular technology exams of these credentialing organizations.

ARDMS
SPI Examination requirement

Successful completion of a general, medical, or sonographic physics class/seminar/course

The adult echocardiography and vascular technology specialty examinations are qualified for under the Prerequisite 2 Education requirement: Graduate or student in a program accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Currently the only organization in the United States that offer programmatic accreditation under CHEA is the Commission on accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

CCI
The student will qualify for the RCS (Registered Cardiac Sonographer) exam under: RCS4

Applicant must be a graduate of a programmatically accredited program** in cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography).

The student will qualify for the RVS (Registered Vascular Specialist) exam under: RVS4

Applicant must be a graduate of a programmatically accredited program** in vascular ultrasound.

An accredited program is accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), United States Department of Education (USDOE), or Canadian Medical Association (CMA) that specifically conducts programmatic accreditation for cardiovascular technology, diagnostic cardiac sonography, or vascular technology.

Students that have a criminal record may be prevented from employment in some healthcare facilities.

Faculty & Clinical Affiliation Contact Information

Program Director

Dan Chambers RDCS, RVT
Office Number: 803-256-5636
Email address: chambeda@musc.edu

Clinical Coordinator 

Robert Smith RDCS, RVT
Office Number 803-256-5648
Email address: smitro@musc.edu 

Mary Dougherty, Admissions Coordinator
Office Number: 803-256-5627
Email address: doughema@musc.edu

Apply Now

View application for The Claude W. Smith, M.D. School of Cardiovascular Technology.