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Everything You Need to Know About Ultrasound Technician Schools

ultrasound technician schoolsThere are over 150 accredited ultrasound technician schools scattered across the country. They are found at community colleges, universities, trade schools, the armed forces, and occasionally at teaching hospitals.

Questions to Ask Before Selecting a School

  • How many students are accepted into the program each year?
  • Is the program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs?
  • What type of degree will I receive? You need an Associate of Applied Science degree or higher.
  • Do I meet the program requirements for admission?
  • What is the cost of the program?
  • Will this program prepare me for certification?
  • Will the clinical placement allow me to try different specialties?
  • What is the graduation rate?

Interview

Many accredited schools have limited class sizes, therefore, they only accept a small number of students into the program each year. One of the biggest steps in the application process is an interview with the faculty that make up the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. It’s best to prepare for the interview ahead of time so you feel more comfortable.

Research. Before the interview, make sure you learn the program’s requirements such as credits, how long it takes to complete, and clinical training.

People Skills. Because ultrasound technicians work with a variety of patients and medical personnel, they need to have good people skills. The committee will note the applicant’s ability to answer questions in a clear, professional manner.

Questions. During the interview, the committee members may ask:

  • How did you become interested in sonography?
  • Have you considered other healthcare careers?
  • Why do you believe sonography is a good career choice?

What are the Courses?

The following includes common course offerings, but because they vary by school, your curriculum may differ.

General Requirements

Before getting started on the ultrasound curriculum, students need to gain basic medical knowledge. Many programs begin with the following classes:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (some schools offer these as separate classes)
  • Medical Records Management
  • Medical Terminology
  • Patient Care and Ethics
  • Psychology

Ultrasound Curriculum for an Associate Degree

After you successfully complete the general courses, you can enroll in the core ultrasound technician courses such as:

  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Introduction to Sonography Practice
  • Introduction to Sonography
  • Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation
  • Sonography Case Studies
  • Sonography Procedures

Ultrasound Curriculum for a Bachelor’s Degree

If you decide on a four-year program, you’ll most likely be a more desirable job candidate than those with an associate degree. It also allows you to earn a higher salary. Courses may include:

  • Advanced Methods – Vascular Sonography
  • Advanced Patient Care Issues and Case Studies
  • Advanced Topics in Sonography
  • Components of Healthcare Financial Management
  • Medical Imaging in the Digital Environment
  • Medical Imaging Leadership and Organization Management
  • Sonographic Specialties Studies
  • Trends in Sonography

Externship

Nearly all ultrasound technician schools require an externship. This means hands-on training in a real medical setting, and students spend approximately six months practicing their skills alongside an experienced ultrasound technician. Tasks include taking patients’ medical history and operating the equipment.

Ultrasound Specialties 

Several schools give students more than the general ultrasound option. They include:

  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Breast Sonography
  • Echocardiography
  • Neurosonology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography
  • Ophthalmology
  • Vascular Sonography

Schools

Here are sixteen accredited schools you may have an interest in:

  • Baptist Memorial College of Health Science – Memphis, Tennessee
  • Boise State University – Boise, Idaho
  • Cincinnati State Technical College – Cincinnati, Ohio
  • College of Dupage – Glen Ellyn, Illinois
  • College of South Nevada – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Community College of Rhode Island – Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • Delgado Community College – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Laramie County Community College – Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, California
  • Kennebec Valley Community College – Fairfield, Maine
  • Southeast Technical Institute – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Little Rock) – Little Rock, Arkansas
  • West Kentucky Community College and Technical College – Paducah,Kentucky
  • West Virgina University Hospitals – Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital – New Haven, Connecticut

Choosing an ultrasound technician school can be a difficult decision. If you have any questions, please contact us for more information.