The Lowdown on Ultrasound Technician Education Programs

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, assist doctors in evaluating a patient’s condition. They spread a special gel on the patient’s skin and then use a transducer to direct high-frequency sound waves into the patient’s body. The equipment collects echoes and generates images that can be taped or photographed by the doctor. There are multiple paths of entry into the field of sonography, but getting a solid ultrasound technician education is essential, regardless of which path you take. You can even take classes while you’re working.

You can receive an ultrasound technician education in hospitals, colleges, universities, the Armed Forces, and vocational institutions. Training programs last between one and four years, but two-year programs are the most common. Coursework in these programs covers the following subjects:

Anatomy

Physiology

Instrumentation

Physics

Medical ethics

Patient care

In addition to providing theoretical instruction, ultrasound technician education programs also provide clinical training.

To increase your chances of finding stable employment, look for ultrasound technician education programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Most states, with the exception of Oregon and New Mexico, don’t require ultrasound technicians to be licensed, but getting a credential from a professional certifying body is recommended because most employers prefer it.

The most common credential in the ultrasound technician field is the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential, which is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Keep in mind that ARDMS does not issue licenses to graduates who have completed their training in non-CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician education programs.

Ultrasound technicians work in private offices, hospitals, and clinics. They typically work about 40 hours per week. Job growth in the field is expected to be faster than average. After graduating from an ultrasound technician education program, you can advance your career by specializing in more than one area. Areas in which you can specialize include the nervous system, abdomen, breast, and vascular system. You can also take an administrative or supervisory position in order to advance your career. If you’re a stay at home mom there be options to obtain your education online and from the comfort of your own home.

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