Becoming an ultrasound tech requires many prerequisites. Extensive education and training is needed before one can become a technician in the field of sonography. This is because the job of the ultrasound technician is not as easy as you see. An ultrasound sonographer is responsible for making the initial diagnosis of the patient’s disease. Positioning the patient so that the technician is able to get the clearest picture is considered the main responsibility of the technician for the physician’s evaluation to make full and final diagnosis of the patient’s disease.
In order to be qualified as an ultrasound student, it is a prerequisite to complete a degree in ultrasound technology. The recommended program for those who just graduated from high school is an associate degree and bachelor degree. These two degrees will give the graduates jobs with high salaries. Just make sure that the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs has accredited the programs that you are enrolled. Enrolling in an accredited program will guarantee that the training institution has met the minimum admission requirements of the accredited program as well as provided high standard of education. Most of the time, an associate degree or bachelor degree course includes a curriculum that is broken down into courses in general sonography, sonographic physics and sonographic instrumentation.
However, some of the ultrasound tech institutes require the students to have an associate degree before these students can be enrolled in their bachelor degree that culminates in four year of extensive academic knowledge and technical expertise about the relevant subject matters of the profession. Some of these schools are stricter in their requirements in admission of ultrasound technician applicants. Still other schools and community colleges offer associate and bachelor degrees to high school graduates.
An online ultrasound technician program is also a way to earn a sonography degree. With online programs, the students have freedom in choosing which schedule they will maintain. This is very convenient in the part of the student because of the hassles of attending classes in a daily basis at classrooms. Be sure that the online program is accredited by CAAHEP. The length of an online training program depends on the progression of the student.
After acquiring extensive technical knowledge from schools, the students are required to take part in clinical trainings. In the clinical trainings, a student will experience participation in the several duties and responsibilities of the technician. It is also an opportunity to be guided and trained by a professional ultrasound tech. The students are required to apply the different theories they learned inside the classroom. This training will also ensure the students to learn patient care and interaction.
Earning of a certificate from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) is the next step after graduation. Certification will prove the employers that the technician has the ability to become their employee since he passed the credentialing examination. Without passing the certification, it is likely that the student has not understood and mastered the principles and techniques he learned from the degree. The covered subject areas for the examination are sonography principles, instrumentation, and various sonography specialties including the abdomen, breast, neurosonology, echocardiography, obstetrics and vascular technology.
License as an ultrasound sonographer is not required. However, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, licensed technicians have more chances to be sought after by potential employers than the technicians who are not licensed. Moreover, some states in the US require a license from the ultrasound tech before employing him.