Are you planning to become an Ultrasound Technician? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the demand for medical sonographers and ultrasound technicians will rise by 44% through the year 2020. There are many programs for careers within allied health, such as medical assistant, MRI technician, cardiovascular technologist, and many more. Increase in the aging population is the major cause behind the increasing abundance of ultrasound technician jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects in this field will increase for the next several years. Compared to other professions, the availability of ultrasound technician jobs is increasing with a faster rate. This is because lots of medical professionals are moving from radiological procedures to ultrasound technology.
Ultrasound technicians are also known as Sonographers or Ultrasonographers. Their major job is to check for abnormalities inside bodies by using Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machines (MRI) and x-rays. The sound waves produced from those machines generate images that help to find out the internal conditions of a patient. These technicians utilize ultrasound machines to look for tumors, analyze fetal development and other different types of problems.
Finding A Proper Ultrasound Technician School
The first step you will need to take to become an ultrasound technician is to join a school which is accredited from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This authorized body makes sure that quality education and training are being given to the students.
A minimum of high school degree or equivalent is necessary to be able to attend an ultrasound technician school. Having a background in math and science is preferred by most of the institutions. It takes 2 years to complete an associate’s degree and requires additional 4 years to complete bachelor’s degree. To be eligible for a Masters program you need to complete a Bachelors degree with some course works in Math, Physics, Anatomy, Communications, and Physiology.
Throughout the US there are about 2000 programs that are accredited by the CAAHEP. Students need to take lessons of different fields of study such as medical ethics, instrumentation, basic physics and patient care. They get to specialize in different areas like vascular technology, echocardiography, gynecology or obstetrics sonography, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, and breast sonography.
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Educational Foundation provides scholarships to eligible students who want to become ultrasound technicians. Make sure that the school you are about to join is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. There are even cases where the ultrasound technician schools offer scholarships directly to their students.
Once the required education is completed students can look for jobs in mobile imaging services, physicians’ offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, as well as private and public hospitals. In order to learn about advanced technologies and enhance ultrasound skills, graduates can take the certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Though it is not compulsory, most of the employers prefer to hire ultrasound technicians with such certification.
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Scott Garcia writes on health related topics for many sites. Read his latest article on online CNA classes if you are planning to become a CNA.