How To Become an Ultrasonographer

Expectant mother getting an ultrasound

An ultrasonographer is an individual who uses an ultrasound machine to perform tests on pregnant women and other patients.  The machine uses high frequency ultrasound waves to create live imaging reports of the pregnancy status.  Pregnant women visit ultrasonographers throughout their pregnancy to make sure the baby is healthy, and often to determine the sex of the baby.  Ultrasound machines also have many other uses in the medical field, including giving images of the brain, intestines, and other internal organs.  These professionals, with experience, commonly earn up to $60,000 per year and are able to obtain a position without too much advanced education.  This article will give you steps in hints into how to become an ultrasonographer.

The first step is to get your education.  You will need to first obtain your high school diploma or equivalent.  After high school you should get to a junior college and get your associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography.  If you want to get a bachelor’s degree, you can, but it is not a requirement.  You will need to take coursework in medical terminology, anatomy, ultrasound physics, and other sciences.

While in school, you will want to earn a degree which focuses on ultrasound technology, and which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or, CAAHEP.  While you are in school, you will also need to select a specialty in ultrasound technology.  Specialties include gynecology, abdominal, neurosonology, and ophthalmology.  You should be very careful when choosing your specialty, as it will have a dramatic impact on the rest of your career.

After completing your two year degree, the next step is to become certified.  Most hospitals and practices will require all of their ultrasonographers to have certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, or ARDMS.  Certification varies by location, but shouldn’t be too difficult to receive after you have completed your education.

The next step is to get a job.  The best place to look for a job is to visit hospital’s job boards.  You will want to look specifically within the radiology and nuclear medicine department, which are the two departments who will most likely be hiring.  There are various other options, which include private practices who need to have ultrasonographers on staff.

While you are employed as an ultrasonographer, you should take steps to ensure that you become the best you can be.  You should develop strong bed side manner and know how to deal with patients.  Be sure that you stay ahead of the ultrasound technology by attending seminars and continuing your education.


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