Ultrasound technician programs will train students on how to use sound wave technology in order to capture images of human organs and tissues. These images are used to diagnose or monitor several different types of medical conditions. In ultrasound technology programs students will experience a combination of lab, classroom and clinical instruction.
Ultrasound Training Requirements
The ultrasound student will learn how to maintain and operate the sonography equipment and will learn the different techniques used in the field, by performing ultrasound procedures in the schools lab. Working as a professional in the field you will not be required by the state to obtain licensure, however, many employers these days will only hire applicants that have taken the ARDMS certification exam.
Part of the training for a tech will involve courses in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, patient documentation and patient interaction. The student will also learn how to read ultrasound results and how to develop an eye for quality when it comes to image results.
There are a few different types of programs available for the student wanting formal education in sonography: the one to two year certificate program, the two year associate’s degree and the four to five year Bachelor’s degree program. The degree programs will require the student to have a high school diploma, take standardized testing, have a background in science and math and may even require a background check prior to being accepted.
Degrees in Sonography
The Associates of science degree will consist of lectures, labs, and coursework such as anatomy, medical ethics and law, health care basics, patient documentation and patient interaction. The lectures for this program will include topics on basic physics, anatomy, patient care techniques, acoustic principles and vascular technology.
The Bachelor of Science in ultrasound technology is a four to five year program that will provide in depth work in several of the sonography specialty areas and will prepare the graduate for advanced positions in the health care field. The student will participate in a clinical internship in order to observe how the professional ultrasound technicians position patients, interact with patients and medical staff and document their test findings. In a classroom students will learn how to perform obstetric, abdominal and gynecological ultrasounds while also taking courses in medical terminology, physiology, patient interaction, basic physics and sonography basics.
When applying for entry level positions in the field, the majority of employers will consider the amount of clinical hours obtained during an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program to be sufficient work experience to qualify them for entry level positions.
While not required by the state to obtain licensure for this health care profession, the majority of ultrasound graduates will take the sonography certification through the ARDMS organization exam in order to increase their chances of gaining employment.