Ultrasonographers and Ultrasound Technicians Schools
Nowadays there are a number of specialities technicians may go into. Ultrasonographers may specialize in such fields as:
- Neurosonography (brain),
- Echocardiography (heart),
- Abdominal (kidney, liver, spleen, pancreas),
- OB GYN (female reproduction),
- and Opthalmalogy (eye).
Ultrasound technicians pursue their training at vocational schools or at four-year colleges and universities. Certificates and two-year associate’s degrees can be earned through vocational training programs. A bachelor’s degree can be earned at a university. Most ultrasound technician certificate programs are more than 12 months.
Degree Programs at Ultrasound Technician Schools
Admission requirements vary depending on the ultrasound tech school. All programs require a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Sometimes interviews, entrance assessments, and prior allied health experience and credentials are required.
It’s very important to note that the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) only recognizes one accrediting organization: the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
If you attend non-CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technician schools, you can sit for the ARDMS certifying exam after completing a year of work experience under the auspices of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).
Most certificate and degree programs at ultrasound technician schools prepare students for entry-level jobs in the field.
However, more senior jobs in specialized areas of:
- diagnostic medical sonography;
- obstetric and gynecologic sonography;
- abdominal sonography;
- diagnostic cardiac sonography (heart);
- vascular technology (hemodynamics, blood flow);
- neurosonology (brain and spinal cord);
- ophthalmology or ophthalmic biometry)
require a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Curriculum at Ultrasound Technician School
You should expect coursework and hands-on training in a wide range of topics. These may include sonographic physics and instrumentation, gray scale and color-flow Doppler sonography, human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and ethics, and the basics of obstetric and gynecologic sonography.
A number of ultrasound schools also require that you complete an unpaid clinical externship in a professional ultrasound facility, working with professional sonographic professionals.
Top Ultrasound Technicians Schools:
The Apollo College campus in Mesa offers a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS) certificate program that prepares students for a rewarding career in ultrasound technology. This comprehensive, 16 month (4 semester) program, focuses on all aspects of general ultrasound including abdominal, pelvic, and obstetric anatomy and pathology.
Argosy’s AS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is offered at their Twin Cities location, where concentrations are available in general sonography, vascular ultrasound and echocardiography. The program lasts 24-36 months depending on the student’s level of involvement. It includes a six-month clinical training component.
ATI Career Training Center
The program at this school’s Florida location offers training in general sonography as well as cardiovascular, thoracic, abdomen and obstetric sonography. The program includes an externship in a clinical ultrasound environment.
Kaplan’s diagnostic medical sonography/ultrasound curriculum can prepare you to become a responsible member of the health team in a hospital, imaging center, or private facility. In this program, you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform ultrasound scans of the upper abdomen, pelvic area, superficial structures and the peripheral vascular system
Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas
This college’s sonography program covers ultrasound diagnosis of the abdomen, pelvis, pregnant female pelvis, superficial structures, plus vascular ultrasound.
Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas
Sanford-Brown Institute’s Ultrasound program includes a variety of areas of sonography, and focuses on the scanning and diagnosis of the body’s organ systems.
Virginia College’s ultrasound technician associate’s degree program is available at its Austin and Birmingham campuses, and focuses on abdominal, reproductive, obstetrical and vascular ultrasound scanning, plus ultrasound physics and instrumentation. After graduation, the college’s career services center will assist in placing the graduate in the ultrasound job market.
Western Career College
The 18-month program at WCC’s Citrus Heights campus includes didactic and clinical instruction in abdominal, gynecological and vascular ultrasound. Graduates are eligible to take the RDMS national registry exam, and are prepared for entry-level employment as ultrasound technicians.
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