Ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, use ultrasound to capture internal images of the human body. These images are used by specialists and physicians to diagnose and treat patients. The ultrasound technology uses sound waves instead of radiation and invasive procedures to capture the images.
Besides the images, ultrasound technicians also provide a summary or insight of the findings. The specialist or radiologist then interprets and explains the results to the patient.
Ultrasound is used to diagnose medical conditions such as;
- Abnormal growth in organs and tissues
- Blockages in blood vessels
- Tumors in the internal organs
- In pregnancy, to measure fetuses’ growth
How Do I Become an Ultrasound Technician?
Medical sonography is a marketable field with numerous chances of specializing as you advance career-wise. There are different ultrasound training courses depending on the job options you want to explore.
If you’re thinking of becoming an ultrasound technician, here is a short guide to help you in this career field:
1. Determine the Specific Education You Will Study
Depending on your career plans, responsibilities, and finances, it is crucial to consider the educational path that best suits you. There are three educational options you can choose from, which include:
- Associate Degree: This is best for an entry-level position and takes 18 to 24 months to complete the training.
- Bachelor’s Degree: If you want to explore a variety of diagnostic medical sonography specialties, a bachelor’s degree could be the way to go. Degree ultrasound training courses usually take four years.
- Certificate Program: If you are a healthcare professional with a degree and want to venture into ultrasound, you can take a certificate program in diagnostic sonography. The training takes one year to two years.
Ultrasound training courses offer various programs such as;
- Abdominal sonography
- Vascular sonography
- Anatomy of the heart
- Sectional anatomy
- Obstetrics and gynecological sonography
- Physiology of the heart
2. Enroll in an Accredited Program
Taking your training course at an accredited school or program has numerous benefits. Potential employers will see that you have been trained to the highest standards and are ready to do a good job. Enrolling in a program that isn’t accredited could mean you miss out on certification.
3. Practice in the Field to Gain Experience
During your training program, it is essential that you take some time to work in a clinic or hospital to gain experience. It is mainly done through externship programs that could take a few months during your training. Working as an ultrasound technician will help you put into practice all the concepts you have learned in the classroom.
4. Get a Certification
With the high competition in the sonography field, you’ll need certification to have the upper hand against other job seekers. Any additional credentials you have will be an added advantage. Moreover, getting certified in different specialties will make you more versatile in the field.
Sonography is a career that needs more than just education. To perform well, you’ll need good interpersonal skills to help you relate well with patients and make them feel comfortable during a procedure. This guide should help kickstart your career through suitable ultrasound training courses.