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How To Become an Ultrasound Technician

When it comes to the medical field, there are an endless number of career opportunities. While not all of these careers require schooling, many of them do. Each one requires a different type of education that is specific to the job and the duties that will be performed. The ultrasound technician position is no different. In order to become an ultrasound technician, you will be required to obtain the proper education as well as develop certain skills which will help you and make you a better technician. Some of these skills will be taught to you and others you will need to develop on your own.

How To Become an Ultrasound Technician?

Job Description
Ultrasound technicians are tasked with using an ultrasound machine in order to capture detailed images of the body’s internal organs. This is done by using high frequency sound waves. In order for these images to come out correctly, the technician must ensure that the patient is properly positioned and that the ultrasound machine is being placed on the patient in the right place based on what part of the body they are trying to get a picture of. These pictures are used for several reasons including identifying abnormalities within the body as well as observing developing fetuses. Because ultrasounds are not invasive and they require no dyes or radiation, they can be used on almost any type of patient regardless of their medical condition. This makes them a very popular resource and a huge benefit to doctors and other medical professionals. Many medical fields heavily depend on ultrasounds such as obstetrics, gynecology, and neurology. Ultrasound technology is one of the most popular and in demand careers right now. This is partly due to the fact that it requires a shorter duration of schooling and it is rewarding as far as finances go. While the length of schooling may be shorter than many other medical professions, there are still requirements that you will need to fulfill in order to become an ultrasound technician.

How To Become an Ultrasound Technician
Education Requirement
Before you can even apply to an ultrasound technician program, you will first need to obtain your high school diploma or general education degree. It would be best if you have studied health and science courses in high school. If not, you will most likely be required to complete some pre-requisite courses. Each school or program has different requirements so it will depend on your school’s policy. Sometimes, if you come from a healthcare background, you can get credit for having real life experience and therefore you may not have to complete the pre-requisite courses. As far as ultrasound technician requirements regarding schooling go, there are a few different options. First, there is the traditional four year bachelor’s degree. Another option is a two year associates degree which tends to be the most popular education option available nowadays. A less common program is on that is generally called the “fast track” option and typically lasts for only one year. This program results in a vocational certificate. While anyone can get in to the one year program, it is mostly intended for people who already work in the healthcare industry and are just looking for a career change. In addition to the classroom requirements, you will also be required to complete a certain amount of clinic hours where you will spend time completing actual ultrasounds. One important thing to consider when selecting a school or program is whether or not they are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). An education from an accredited school will make you much more desirable to potential employers and will greatly increase your chances of being hired.

In addition to the educational requirements to become an ultrasound technician, there are also certain qualities that you should possess or acquire in order to be the most successful in you job. Candidates will need to be detail oriented and very alert when performing their job duties. This is because they will need to have the ability to spot very small or minor abnormalities. The ability to do this can help to keep patients from being misdiagnosed or receiving incorrect information. In addition, ultrasound technicians will need to have good interpersonal communication skills as they will be working directly with patients on a daily basis. Many of these patients may be nervous or scared so it is important that the technician is able to communicate with the patient in a calm and reassuring manner. In order to ensure the best results for each patient, it is also crucial for ultrasound technicians to have the ability to work as part of a team. In a medical setting, everyone is constantly working together to provide the proper care for the patients. This includes sharing test results between different departments or medical professionals as well as collaborating on patient care.

The Exam
After you have completed your ultrasound technician training, you will be eligible to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exams. These exams consist of two different parts. The first part is a general physics test while the second is a test on your chosen specialty. Once you complete and pass these exams, you will become a certified ultrasound technician or a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. While neither one of these are required in order to work as an ultrasound technician, they are recommended as many employers seek out people who are certified and they are likely to increase the amount of pay that you will receive. Recently, being certified has started to become the industry standard.

Ultrasound Technician Schools
There are several ultrasound technician schools available to interested candidates. Currently, the CAAHEP has accredited more than one hundred and fifty schools in the United Sates. These include universities, community colleges, vocational schools, hospital programs, programs in the Armed Forces, and online programs. If you choose to study through an online program, keep in mind that while the course work can be completed online, you still must complete your clinicals in a real live medical settings. Click Here to find local ultrasound tech schools

Job Outlook
Once you become an ultrasound technician, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement. With some additional training, you can become directly involved with patient care easier because you already have medical experience. You can also transition in to other imaging positions if you are interested. Supervisor and manager positions are sometimes available and may or may not require any additional education. In addition, some people choose to take on the role of teaching others how to perform ultrasounds. Depending on the location of where the teaching occurs, it may or may not have additional requirements that you will have to meet.

Choosing The Right Program
If you are thinking of becoming an ultrasound technician, you will first need to decide which type of program is right for you. Once you have decided that, you will want to find an accredited school and get things set up to begin your classes. After you have completed both your classes and clincals, you should prepare to take the required exams to become certified. After certification you will be ready to begin your job search. Being an ultrasound technician is a great way to not only earn a living but also to help patients in need. The opportunities are endless and the future looks bright for this career field.