Sep 09

Ultrasound Technician Schools in Michigan

If you are in Michigan and want good career that is stable, well paying, and provides many opportunities to help people as well as advance, then a career as an ultrasound technician should get your serious consideration. At the moment ultrasound technicians are needed in Michigan and across the country now more than ever and the demand is expected to grow fast throughout the foreseeable future. To get begin on the career path in medical sonography you should start by checking out some of the ultrasound technician schools in Michigan that offer certificates, associate’s and bachelor’s in sonography.

michigan

The sonography schools in Michigan provide the training needed for entering a career as a sonographer. Whether you’re just starting out or transitioning from another occupation, a two year training course in ultrasound technology will put you on the path to a stable job, good money, and opportunity.

After two years most students who have completed a sonography program will have earned an associate’s degree and will be eligible for certification in sonography. The ARDMS or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography provides a certification exam for Sonographers which is the certifying credential that is nationally recognized and often sought by employers when hiring for positions.

Michigan Ultrasound Schools

Below are some of the excellent programs for sonography that are offered in the state of Michigan. These are accredited ultrasound training schools meaning they provide some of the highest quality education in the field.

Baker College of Auburn Hills

Auburn Hills, MI
Website: www.baker.edu
Degrees: Associate’s
Concentration: Cardiac and Vascular Sonography

Grand Valley State University

Grand Rapids, MI
Website: www.gvsu.edu
Degrees: Baccalaureate
Concentrations: Vascular, Cardiac, and General Sonography

Henry Ford Hospital

Detroit, MI
Website: www.henryfordhealth.org
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General Sonography

Jackson Community College

Jackson, MI
Website: www.jccmi.edu
Degrees: Certificate, Associate’s
Concentrations: Vascular, Cardiac, and General Sonography

Lansing Community College

Lansing, MI
Website: www.lcc.edu
Degrees: Associate’s
Concentration: General Sonography

Oakland Community College

Southfield, MI
Website: www.oaklandcc.edu
Degrees: Associate’s’s
Concentration: General Sonography

Ultrasound Programs in Michigan

The ultrasound technician schools in Michigan offer several types of programs which can lead to a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. The choice of program will be entirely up to your preferences and whether you meet the pre-requisites that some schools may have. Getting information from the schools on this page should help you with comparing the differences between each the schools and choosing one that is good for you.

Certificate courses in sonography often are accelerated and may cater to someone who has had allied health experience or holds an allied health degree such as radiology. The accelerated programs are shorter, some lasting up one year to two years. The focus of a certificate course is more on the practical hands on skills that are learned through clinical training. Clinical training is part of the course where students are assigned to train in a hospital or clinic while supervised by professional ultrasound technicians. Certificate courses in sonography may have pre-requisites, so getting information from the schools offering this option should be one of the first things.

Associate’s degrees are the most commonly pursued degree and most often held by sonographers who are entering the field. These ultrasound technician programs do not expect students to have past allied health education or experience. The programs start from the beginning and have students complete traditional college credits before moving into the specialized training of the ultrasound program.

While nearly all colleges offer programs in general sonography some of the ultrasound technician schools in Michigan will provide opportunities to concentrate in specialized areas of the field. Commonly these include vascular sonography and cardiac sonography. If you’re interested in these areas, having access to this specialized training can helpful when planning for a career in the sonography field. These skills are often looked for at certain facilities such as heart hospitals and can offer better pay when landing a position.

Job Expectations

Because of Michigan’s strong healthcare industry and the demands for medical sonography specialists, qualified sonographers should expect to find jobs in many of the states medical facilities. The areas of the state offering the most opportunity include Detroit’s metro area, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.

In terms of salary, sonographers are well paid and even better compensated when compared to other allied health professions requiring similar college training. On average the salary for an ultrasound technician in Michigan is $56,230 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Deciding on an Ultrasound Technician School in Michigan

Having the most information about each of the schools in your area should be priority when comparing. You will want to do enough research on the topic to ensure the decision is the right one for you. When deciding, some things to keep in mind would be:

  • The cost of the program
  • The length of the program
  • The prerequisites needed to start
  • The cost of tuition for the program
  • If tuition assistance is available

All of this information can be provided either in person when meeting with the school’s admissions counselors or through the school’s website. Having knowledge of these things will ensure you have the right expectations when beginning the program.

Some other things to consider

Accreditation from the CAAHEP or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is another important factor. The CAAHEP accredits many fields of allied health study and the programs holding their certification are known for withholding standards of excellence in their training and education practices. They ensure that the education provided by allied health institutions provide the skills necessary for sonography technicians to starting their careers in an entry level. Students who have trained through accredited institutions often have an easier time when looking for a job in the field because the education qualifies them to take the ARDMS certification upon graduation. Students who attend non accredited programs may have to wait longer for certification exams and their diploma may not be as highly regarded by employers.

Next Steps, More Information, and Resources

If you’re seriously considering this great career contacting schools to find out more about their programs should get you on the path right away.

Below are some selected resources which can provide more information about the diagnostic medical sonography career, accredited ultrasound technician schools in Michigan, and sonography certification. Please feel free to visit those and read our other helpful articles on this website.

Sep 09

Ultrasound Technician Schools in Texas

If you’re ready to embark on a career as diagnostic medical sonographer then you’ll be happy to know that there are many opportunities for obtaining the education necessary at ultrasound technician schools in Texas.

Texas is home to many of the country’s premier health facilities and educational institutions for the medical sonography field. Being the second largest state in terms of size and population you’ll find that once completing a program at one of the sonography schools in Texas will lead to plenty of opportunities in this vast and diverse state.

texas state

Ultrasound Schools in Texas

Below is list of some accredited ultrasound technician schools in Texas. Accreditation from the CAAHEP is an important consideration when choosing a school. For the student, it often means that a school holding this designation provides the highest quality training in medical sonography and offers the best prospects when pursuing the career.

Sanford Brown College – Dallas
Website: www.sbdallas.com
1250 West Mockingbird Lane #150
Dallas, TX 75247
Degrees Available: Certificate Program
Concentrations: General Ultrasound

Sanford Brown College – Houston
Website: www.sbhouston.com
10500 Forum Place Drive #200
Houston, TX 77036
Degrees Available: Associate’s
Concentration: General Ultrasound

Austin Community College
Website: www.austincc.edu
3401 Webberville Road
Building 9000
Austin, TX – 78702
Degrees Available: Associate’s
Concentrations: General Ultrasound, Cardiac, Vascular

Midland College
Website: www.midland.edu
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program
3600 North Garfield
Midland, TX 79705
Degrees Available: Certificate Program, Associate’s
Concentration: General

Houston Community College System
Website: www.hccs.edu
1900 Pressler Street
Houston, TX 77030
Degrees: Certificate Program
Concentrations: General Ultrasound

Job Outlook

According to labor statistics, Texas employs the fourth largest number of ultrasound technicians in the country. Most jobs in the sonography are concentrated in the higher population areas such as Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. In these cities you’ll also find ultrasound technician schools where training for the career can be obtained.

The salary of an ultrasound technician in Texas averages at $62,370 per year (Source). Programs at most sonography training schools last about two years before a technician can enter the field. The medical sonography field is a great opportunity in Texas because the position is expected to grow over the next decade faster than most occupations. Because of the diversity of Texas’ population qualified ultrasound technicians who are bi-lingual will receive great consideration from employers in the state.

Sep 09

Sonography Admission Requirements

When in search of a training program at an ultrasound technician school, it is best to have a good understanding of the requirements necessary for gaining entry to an ultrasound technician school in your region.

Sonography has shown itself to be a stable career for those who have entered the field. The career stability and earnings potential has attracted many new individuals to the occupation. Careers in medical professions have continued to experience growth in spite of the economic difficulties facing many industries today. With many medical facilities looking to fill ultrasound technician jobs now is a great time to pursue training in medical sonography.

Sonography Admission Requirements

Ultrasound Technician School Options

The schools providing courses in sonography may offer up to three types of programs which students can choose to attend. The recommendations on which course to take would depend upon the student’s current experience and their career aspirations.

For those who have had past experience or education in the medical field, choosing a certificate or diploma program would be a reasonable and appropriate choice. The certificate programs can take from one year to 18-months to finish. These programs will include a mixture of classroom education as well as hands on or “clinical” experience which allows students to experience the work in a real life medical setting. The training involved adequately prepares current medical professionals to make the transition to another area of the healthcare industry.

Sonography school

For those starting out, such as recent high school graduates, beginning a college degree program would be the best option for embarking on this career path. Associate’s degrees in diagnostic medical sonography are the most popular option for these students and will take two years to complete. Associate’s degree programs, will generally offer a well-rounded and in-depth experience of classroom training in core curriculum plus internship training that allows students to practice alongside current professional sonographers in their day to day functions.

Another option for a degree in ultrasound is a four year bachelor’s degree from a university. Although the training will take longer and will be more rigorous, there are greater rewards for choosing this educational path. Students who complete bachelor’s programs in sonography will find more job opportunities and higher starting salaries when entering the workforce.

Are There Requirements for Entering Sonography School?

When taking a degree seeking programs, most colleges or universities will have a core curriculum that is required before starting the ultrasound courses. The core studies are designed to prepare students for the specialized and more technical nature of the degree major. The courses will include some fundamental medical training as well as the required general studies material.

Sonography school

Meeting the requirements necessary for entrance into ultrasound technician school can take approximately a year. The typical requirements will include courses such as algebra, physics, anatomy, communications, and computers. In addition to the course requirements, it is often mandatory that a good standing GPA be maintained prior to entry into the program. These requirements are pretty common for most schools however; some may advise that additional requirements be met before accepting students.

Prospective ultrasound students are advised to contact ultrasound training schools in their areas to determine the training programs that are available, degree options, and the requirements necessary for attending these schools.

Sep 09

Researching Ultrasound Training Schools

If you’re interested in becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer the ultrasound technician school that is decided upon is an important choice for getting started on this career path. There are several considerations one must take into account when looking into ultrasound technician schools. Locating a school that has a good reputation will directly impact the quality of training received and potentially enhance your job prospects in the future.

To become a certified medical sonographer, a student must complete a degree or diploma program in order to become eligible for examination through the ARDMS. The ARDMS requires that a prospective technician complete an ultrasound training program with an accredited institution or have an allied health degree such as radiology or sonography, in addition to clinical experience for up to a year. The clinical experience helps to build essential skills while performing the job hands on. While the certification isn’t necessary to obtain employment in the field, candidates who possess a sonography certification from the ARDMS are a cut above others candidates when seeking a job.

Ultrasound-Technician-Schools

In order to obtain the best possible training and gain an edge in the job market performing thorough research about the ultrasound training schools in your area is really important. The information gathered before making a decision can only help when searching for the right sonography program. To get started, requesting information through the school’s website is the easiest way to begin gathering the information you’ll need when seeking an ultrasound program.

When reviewing ultrasound technician schools there are a few considerations students need to keep in mind when deciding on which ultrasound training schools are right for them.

Considerations to be made when choosing a program

  • Are they Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools?

The commission on Accreditation of Allied health education programs (or CAAHEP) evaluates allied health training programs nationwide. They maintain a set of guidelines that educational programs must adhere to obtain an accredited status. When attending an ultrasound technician school having this important designation will go a long way in helping you obtain a certification and during the job search.

CAAHEP

Aside from the quality education that an accredited ultrasound technician program provides eligibility for the ARDMS certifications is a faster process when the program is completed. A graduate of an accredited program is eligible to take certification without any further clinical training. This is in contrast to a non-accredited sonography program which the ARDMS requires 12 months of full time clinical work in order to be eligible.

  •  Do the sonography schools have clinical training partners?

A large portion of  ultrasound training programs deal with on-the-job experience, performing the duties of an ultrasound technician under the supervision of a professional. A school’s clinical partnerships with medical facilities are an important factor which will reflect on the quality of training that is received. To move through the program on schedule, the institution should be capable of matching students with internships when they’re ready to begin and insist there are no delays in participating in this important aspect of the ultrasound training program.

ultrasound tech school

The experience received throughout the clinical process is one of the most important aspects of an education in diagnostic medical sonography. Through the course of the clinical period students are exposed to the workings of a medical facility through the eyes of a professional. Students receive the opportunity to operate the ultrasound equipment, provide patient care as well as contribute to the medical team through interactions with current medical professionals. This real life aspect of the training course is very important when preparing for the career.

  •  Personal preferences

When in the process of evaluating ultrasound technician schools you’ll want to make sure that the program is cohesive to your personal needs and existing obligations such as distance, costs, program length, and scheduling. Some programs offer more flexible scheduling such as evening or weekend classes if a morning to afternoon program isn’t fitting due to work or other obligations. In addition, many colleges offer some courses through distance learning which also can help if you find yourself having a busy schedule. However, due to the hands on nature of the job and the education making sure you can attend classes when lab and clinical activities take place is essential.

ultrasound school

The costs of ultrasound training programs will vary across institutions. It is best to find out the costs while researching schools in your area. Depending on the school, sonographer training can cost from $80 to $500 per credit hour. Typically, community colleges offer the best value in terms of quality and price. However, these programs are often highly sought after by students making the admission process competitive and often delayed while waiting on spots to open up. Classes at private colleges or vocational schools are often the most expensive but can often guarantee a starting date for the program upon registration for the classes.

Gathering Information

When researching schools, always request the course catalog and program information from the sonography schools you are interested in. The booklets and materials the schools provide will have all the information about the school, their programs, costs, and often include other helpful information and statistics about student success after finishing the ultrasound training.

Finally, during the process of finding a school visiting the campus during their business hours is another way to gather information from ultrasound training schools. During the visit you’ll have a chance to meet with program administrators, advisors, students, and teachers. You will be able to ask questions about the program to find out if the program will suit your needs. In addition, you’ll also likely be given a tour of the campus, classrooms, and labs. The tour will help you inspect the condition of the facilities and get a feel for the campus.

An Important Choice

When choosing an ultrasound training course it is necessary to keep in mind the things that will be most important to you. This is an important decision that needs to be made when stating a great career as an ultrasound technician. Having the right information will help you with deciding which school in your area is right for you.

Jul 08

Ultrasound Technician Requirements Do You Have What It Takes

Before you can be hired, most hospitals and clinics will have certain ultrasound technician requirements that must be met. Some of these pertain to the education you went through, any certifications you might have gained, and they will need to know that you can perform all ultrasound technician job requirements. We are going to cover all of this here, so that you can be sure that you meet what is expected before you apply.

ultrasound technician requirements

Training for an Ultrasound Technician Job

Most hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices will have among their ultrasound technician requirements that all applicants possess at least an Associates Degree in either ultrasound technology or diagnostic medical sonography. The only variant to this is if the applicant is already employed in healthcare. If you are already employed in some kind of healthcare role, regardless of function, then your ultrasound technician job requirements will only include certification, which only takes one year of education, as opposed to the two-year Associates degree.

The general coursework of study that is required for either the certification or the Associates degree will include a series of courses in medical terminology, physics, anatomy and physiology, patient evaluation, and patient care completed at one of the accredited ultrasound technician schools. You will also have to take a battery of ultrasound related or specific studies to complete your certification or degree.

ultrasound-technician-work schedule

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Ultrasound Equipment Operation: learning how to work and maintain the ultrasonography equipment, as well as learning the required settings, calculating values and refinements in using the machines for obstetrics, gynecology, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, breast sonography, vascular sonography and cardiac sonography.
  • Clinical Procedures: interaction with patients, taking patient histories, medical records, and other subjects related to intake and examination procedures.
  • Physics Of Ultrasound: the science behind the technology and its applications.

Most students seeking a career as an ultrasound technician will also be required to pursue and complete a clinical internship before graduation. Most employers will also require that new graduates be registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and this will require passing a written exam within the guidelines of that organization.

General Employment Ultrasound Technician Requirements

Ultrasound technology is used in hospital and clinical settings to assess the health of unborn babies, diagnosing any cardiovascular abnormalities or conditions, nervous system disorders and many more medical conditions. Most technicians work in situations that will require a lot of patient contact, evaluations of imaging and the maintenance of patient records.

The ultrasound technician requirements will include the following throughout their work day: explaining procedures to patients and assist in positioning them during the examination in order to achieve the best imaging possible, using a transducer to focus and examine areas within the patient’s body, visually identify healthy tissues from unhealthy tissues, sort and prepare images for storage and diagnosis, create written reports for doctors and medical records based on calculated values, measurements and evaluated images received during ultrasound examinations, and prepare any requested documentation including written and visual elements for medical records, clinics, labs and physicians.

Jul 08

Ultrasound Technician Job Description: What Does an Ultrasound Tech Do?

An ultrasound technician, also known as a sonographer, is a healthcare professional who conducts ultrasound exams in order to help physicians diagnose and screen medical conditions.

Daily Tasks

On a daily basis, ultrasound technicians utilize ultrasound equipment to conduct exams on patients. This equipment sends out high-frequency sound waves that reflect off the internal body structures. Then, a computer takes these reflected sound waves and uses them to create an image of internal tissue within the patient’s body. Ultrasound images, also known as sonograms, can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, or to monitor fetal development in pregnancies.

Tasks performed by an ultrasound technician include:

  • Preparing patients for the ultrasound exam and explaining the procedure
  • Gathering patient histories
  • Using ultrasound equipment to scan the area of the body that is under examination
  • Analyzing ultrasound data
  • Archive ultrasound images on a computer
  • Provide an oral or written summary of the findings to the physician

What is an Ultrasound Exam?

When it is necessary to see inside a patient’s body, an ultrasound is often the preferred method. Unlike an x-ray, which uses radiation and can only record images of bones, an ultrasound does not use radiation and it can record images of organs, internal tissues, and blood flow. By sending high-frequency sound waves into the area under examination and recording the echoes that are returned, an ultrasound can provide a clear, detailed picture of internal soft tissues.

Patients and physicians increasingly prefer sonography to radiologic procedures. Sonography procedures, like three-dimensional and even four-dimensional ultrasound imaging exams, are viewed as non-invasive and safer for both the patient and the technician because there is no radiation involved in the process.

Specializations

Ultrasound procedures can examine various structures of the body, including the abdomen, heart, blood vessels, and female reproductive system. Different parts of the body require different techniques, so there are several major specializations that a sonographer can choose:

  • Abdomen & Breast
  • Fetal Echocardiography
  • Pediatric Echocardiography
  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Neurosonology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Vascular Technology

The people who have chosen ultrasound technician careers as their own are a highly trained and specialized lot of professionals. The ultrasound technician job description only begins with the use of the sonographic equipment, and depending upon the work environment or their specialization, it can go far beyond just operating the machine on-call. If this is something you might be interested in pursuing, read on as we explain both the common and uncommon ultrasound technician job duties.

The Education Required For Ultrasound Technician Careers

Ultrasound technicians, otherwise known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use ultrasound technology to direct high-frequency sound waves into a patient’s body to produce various images created by the echoes being bounced back by the sound waves. Those images can be stored in computer libraries, reproduced through videotape and photographs, all so that the attending physician can conduct further testing with his patient, based on what he sees in those images.

what does ultrasound tech do

In order to help physicians analyze the images they take, the ultrasound technician job duties require them to be highly educated in their field, as well as keeping on top of new developments as the years pass. To begin, most applicants for these positions are required to have at least an Associate’s Degree in this field, or certification if already employed in the healthcare field. Coursework is available at most colleges and universities, as well as vocational and trade schools. After graduation, while not necessary, employers prefer to hire those who have been registered with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Registration will require taking a written test that covers all knowledge and specializations in the field of ultrasound sonography.

ultrasound technician duties

Elements of an Ultrasound Technician Job Description

One of the most important elements in ultrasound technician job duties, outside of the implementation and analysis of the technology is their interaction with the patients that receive echo sonographic examinations. After seeing their doctor, patients will naturally be nervous going in for this kind of procedure, so the ability to not only put the patient at ease, but to establish a rapport with them is vital. During the procedure, you will have to assist the patient in moving and changing their positions for imaging, so kindness, gentleness and a clear desire for the patient’s comfort and needs is a definite asset.

Along with the collection of images, these technicians must also interview each patient, extract their medical history, and answer any questions or concerns that they may have. After the imaging session is over, the technician must prepare copies of the images recorded for the doctor, store copies in the computer, and send them to the medical records department. Along with the images, a written summary or oral recorded report must be sent to the doctor for their evaluation.

Lastly, another important part of an ultrasound technician job description is the care and maintenance of the ultrasound equipment. Calibrations are required after every patient, as well as the cleaning and sterilization of the patient table, and the transducer.

Jul 08

Online Ultrasound Schools: Online Ultrasonography Training

For years now, vocational schools, community colleges, trade schools and universities have assisted thousands of students complete their training for a new healthcare career as an ultrasound technician. Their ultrasound technician programs have allowed all of the graduates to find jobs in thousands of healthcare facilities all over the country, in hospitals, clinics and diagnostic labs. And now, students everywhere can now begin their training in any one of the many online ultrasound schools based in this country and abroad.

online ultrasound training

Online ultrasound schools can help any student desiring to pursue ultrasound technician programs by allowing them to complete many of the necessary coursework requirements for completing their certification or degree studies. The science of diagnostic medical sonography is exploding, and graduates will be able to use ultrasound techniques to perform a host of non-invasive diagnostic procedures. Online sonography schools will allow you to study the physics behind using sound waves to generate images from inside a patient’s body, a procedure that can be even more effective than any radiology or magnetic resonance imaging for its attention to detail.

The Curriculum Of Online Sonography Schools

Any student who is interested in pursuing a career in medical diagnostic sonography can take online course through a local college or university. Students who already have a career in the medical field can take these courses to obtain a certificate in this field at any ultrasound tech schools, and this will only take around one year to complete. Those interested in pursuing a two-year Associates Degree or four-year Bachelor’s Degree can begin their studies online, and then pursue the necessary clinical internships at their leisure.

Through the online schools, ultrasound tech students can complete their prerequisite course work in studies such as: Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Medical Ethics, Patient Care, Chemistry, Biology, Medical Terminology, and Hospital Organization. Once the course prerequisites are completed, students can continue their studies in courses like Introduction to Ultrasound Technology, Human Disease, Physics and Instrumentation, General Sonography Procedures, Vascular Sonography Procedures, and Cardiac Sonography Procedures.

online-ultrasound-certification-programs

Further Studies In Diagnostic Medical Sonography

At some point before graduating through these online ultrasound technician schools, students will be required to take part in clinical internship training and most likely some lab time in diagnosis and interpretation of imaging scans. The hands-on experience will not only look good on your resume after graduation, it will also give the extra studies you will need to take the written exam for registration nationally.

Most states do not require ultrasound technicians to be registered or licensed, but it is recommended by most schools and career counselors that graduating students take the written exam provided for obtaining membership in the organization known as the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Specialization fields are also possible with online ultrasound schools, especially if the student wishes to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree. Schools of specialist study include: neurosonography, breast sonography, and diagnostic ophthalmology. Depending on your state, these expanded sonography fields may also be included on the written exam given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Jul 08

Ultrasound Technician Jobs: A Career in Ultrasonography

In today’s economy, getting downsized or laid off is becoming more and more commonplace. Most people are trying to remain in the field they were in, and are fighting a losing battle to find solid and steady employment, no matter their experience. What a lot of people might be unaware of is that one of the most stable industries around today is the healthcare field, and there has been an explosion of late in hiring, particularly when it comes to ultrasound technician jobs. More and more schools all over the world are offering curriculum that can lead you to joining the ranks of people enjoying ultrasound technician careers. Because of this surge, it may be time for you to think of perhaps checking out an ultrasound technician program.

ultrasound-technician jobs career

Outlook for Ultrasound Technician Jobs

Ultrasound technician careers were recently ranked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the number one growing employment field. In fact, the statistics show that the number of jobs available in this field is expected to grow by more than 18% by 2018, and now, the median salary for graduates of an ultrasound technician program is between $40,000 and $60,000 a year, depending on which state you reside in.

One of the main reasons behind this surge in ultrasound technician schools and jobs is very simple: the baby boomers. The main recipient of ultrasound procedures are the elderly, and as more of the baby boomer generation begin to retire, the number of patients going through this type of doctor recommended examinations is rising. The largest job growth in this field so far has been in the prime retiree sites like Florida and Arizona, and is expected to keep on growing across the country in the next few years.

state wise ultrasound technician salary

Types of Jobs Available in Ultrasound Technician Careers

One of the most important roles today in general medicine is the diagnostic medical sonographer, otherwise known as an ultrasound technician. In hospitals, clinics and private practices everywhere, you will see a technician at work, using the technology at their disposal in the oncology clinic, checking on the progress of a cancer patient’s treatment, or giving an expectant mother the first look at their unborn child.

Because the technology behind ultrasound is less invasive and far safer than utilizing an x-ray, more doctors are turning to this technique for help in diagnosis, analysis and the tracking of a patient’s progress during treatment. Classically known for its use in obstetrics, the field of ultrasound technician careers is one of the fastest growing, and is currently developing its own fields of specializations.

One of the first expansions into specialization for ultrasound technician jobs is in Pediatric echo sonography. Also known as Level II Prenatal Ultrasound, this procedure allows for close examination of the fetus in the womb during its complete development over the nine month gestation. By doing this, doctors can pinpoint fetal anomalies while the child is still in the womb. Others are specializing in echo sonography for use in oncology, vascular and cardiac fields.

Jul 08

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

In the world of health care jobs, an ultrasound technician sits at or near the top of job possibilities that are in demand, yet don’t require long term schooling to get started. Sonography (ultrasound technology) is the usage of reflected sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. This great job does not pay a huge amount, but it is a solid career that serves well as a stepping stone to the future. The requirements to become an ultrasound technician are fairly straightforward, but there are many options that can greatly improve your odds of actually securing a position.

There are many different programs that can help you become a sonographer, but the more schooling you get the better. It helps to start studying in high school if you make the decision that early. You can take biology, general health courses or even chemistry to help prepare for this career. If you decide later in  life to become a sonographer, then you will need to check with your local college about what credits or schooling might transfer towards your studies.

The military is another avenue that can get you the right training to become a sonographer. This option is less than desirable for the majority of the population because it requires much more than just the schooling. If you are going into the military anyway, then sonography is a great area to study in while you are there.

ultrasound-technician-skills

College study is generally going to be a one year certificate program, a two year degree or a four year degree. By far, the four year degree is the best option and will provide you with the best job prospects upon graduation. It also will likely provide you the clinical work that is required as well. The one year certification programs are largely ineffective only because they are often looked down upon by potential employers and some are not even certified. Be sure to look into any course work you take ahead of time and make sure that you are being given the proper training.

The final step is to get certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the clinical training. This also provides you the option of showing your expertise in any sub-categories of sonography such as cardiac, abdominal or other specific areas of the body. This can truly elevate your standing as an ultrasound technician.

Median-earning-ultrasound-technician

The big reason so many people want this career is because of the explosion of jobs that are available each year. The career is one of the fastest growing and rewarding jobs in the health care field. The median income amount is about 65,000 per year. Ultrasound technicians are only going to rise in popularity with an aging population, so doing what you can to elevate your chances will be a huge benefit. Get the four year degree, do clinical work and get certified to boost your chances of finding the best jobs. Getting the short term version can certainly work if you get lucky and are up against others with similar experience. Otherwise your options might be fairly limited with a one year certification.

Jul 08

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

When you decide to take on the career of being an ultrasound technician, you quickly begin to realize that it is no cake walk. This job is one that demands total focus when you are working, dedication to your craft and a compassionate personality to deal with people in sometimes difficult, life-changing situations. The job description is certainly not simply lining people up and shooting a picture like some people think. It requires a great deal more from the perfect candidate.

Ultrasound tech job description

Where would an Ultrasound Technician be employed?

Ultrasound technicians, also called sonographers, are employed in a number of different places largely depending on the specialization that they are covering. Hospitals are certainly a primary employer as well as doctor’s office in private practice. Other employers include imaging centers, surgical centers, obstetricians, gynecologists and specialist’s offices of all kinds. Emergency rooms are an important employer for sonographers as well though they demand a very cool under pressure type of personality.

What type of personality must you have?

You need a number of personality traits to be a sonographer and you often use them all during a shift. You need to be calm, professional, patient, engaging, persistent, accurate and precise. All of these traits allow you to navigate a person’s body to find the area that needs to be diagnosed by the doctor. This often means moving in and around internal organs and occasionally seeing things that can be alarming or dangerous. You have to keep a calm demeanor and get that information to the doctor without alarming the patient.

ultrasound technician job duties

What are the primary job descriptions for the ultrasound technician?

Ultrasound technicians use high frequency sound to bring up visual images of internal organs, tissues and blood flow within a human body. They have to be creative in positioning the body to get the best possible images for doctors.

This is done by placing a wand (called a transducer) over the area that is being viewed and watching the images in real time on a screen.

This requires extensive knowledge of how to use the equipment, human anatomy and recognizing the different views of different parts of the body. Not every area shows up on screen in the same manner.

It also involves keeping the patient calm and explaining the procedure when asked. Keeping them at ease is vital to getting the information needed to make a proper diagnosis. Excellent judgment is required as well. You have to be the determining factor of whether enough information has been gathered for the doctor to make a proper diagnosis. This is not always easy to do.

Although the job is a tough one, being a sonographer is also very rewarding. Any career with a tough job description demands dedication and training, and being an ultrasound technician certainly fits that bill. If you are willing to put in the time and training, then you will have a career that will make you happy and challenged for a very long time to come.