How To Be an Ultrasound Technician

Doctor performing ultrasound scan

One of the fastest-rising careers today is that of an ultrasound technician, due to the large demand for diagnostic imaging. This is because patients want to do away with radiological procedures, and they are turning to ultrasound technology as an alternative.  In this article, we'll give you the gist of what ultrasound technology is, what the career entails, and what you need to be an accomplished ultrasound technician.

The first step is to learn about ultrasound technology schools and training programs.

  • How is ultrasound technology defined?
    Ultrasound technology is classified under the umbrella of diagnostic imaging, also sometimes referred to as sonography or ultrasonography, wherein sound waves are utilized to produce images of a certain anatomical part of the patient. This is a very important step towards diagnosis and assessment of certain medical conditions. Examples of areas of specialization that an ultrasound technician can take on are (1) gynecologic and obstetric sonography, (2) breast sonography, (3) abdominal sonography, (4) cardiac sonography, (5) vascular sonography, (6) neurosonography, and (7) ophthalmic sonography.
  • What does the career of an ultrasound technician entail?
    Responsibilities of an ultrasound technician include maintenance and operation of diagnostic tools and equipment, gathering of relevant medical history and handling patients in order to successfully go about the procedure, evaluating the images and procuring the quality ones to be used for diagnostic and medical expert's review, and safekeeping of patient's records, among others.
  • Ultrasound training and classes, what would one need to get?
    The common choice to get ultrasound training is by getting a two-year associate's degree which is offered by vocational schools, colleges and universities. You can also get a certification program for two years offered by some hospitals. The four-year bachelor's degree is the same, offered by colleges and universities. You can see that there are one-year certification programs available, but these are not accredited and are only targeted towards current healthcare workers who are continuing their studies and education. In terms of the classes, it usually includes (1) Anatomy and Physiology, (2) Introductory Physics, (3) Technology and Instrumentation, (4) Medical Ethics, (5) Medical Record Keeping, and (6) Patient Care.

To ensure that you are getting quality and standard training needed for you to be successful in this field, make sure that the institution you'll take ultrasound classes in is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAHEEP). Also, the state does not require a license for ultrasound technicians or diagnostic medical sonographers, but there is an organization called American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) who certify ultrasound technicians' competency. To be registered with ARDMS, you are required to pass a general exam and a specialty exam.

It's easy to find online programs which will provide you with accredited ultrasound training, so if you have already decided to take on a career in ultrasound technology, just make sure that you pursue your education even if you are already in the field; this way, you can stay up-to-date with the advances in this field.   


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