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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Indiana

Ultrasound technology, also known as diagnostic medical sonography, is a field that’s very much in demand and also a field that’s expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This article gives you all the information you may need to become an ultrasound technician in Indiana.

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

Ultrasound technicians are not required to be licensed, but they must complete an accredited training program in sonography. According to UltrasoundTechnicianCenter.org, there are only two accredited schools in Indiana that offer sonography programs. One school offers an associate degree program with a cardiac concentration and the other school offers a bachelor’s degree with a general sonography track. This school also offers tracks in vascular sonography and cardiac sonography. To be successful in an ultrasound technician program, the student must complete classroom studies, lab classes and clinical internships. The clinical portion is vital for those who wish to become certified

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Students completing a sonography program are usually not required to complete any prior education other than prerequisite courses; at least this is the case in Indiana. However, the school may require some knowledge of sonography. For instance, the Indiana school offering the bachelor’s degree program requires that the student spend at least 20 hours observing in a sonography setting. Regardless of the school, ultrasound technician programs generally have specific admission requirements that must be met prior to starting the clinical portion of the program.

Are Ultrasound Technicians Required to be Certified?

Certification is not a legal requirement in Indiana, but it makes the individual more competitive in the job market. In fact, most employers require that their technicians obtain some sort of certification.

How Can an Ultrasound Technician Become Certified?

Ultrasound technicians can obtain certification by passing a certification exam from a certifying agency. This may be the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). To qualify to take the certification exams, the candidate must show proof that he or she has completed an accredited program and may have to have some work experience. The ARRT also has an ethics requirement that must be satisfied. Students can obtain multiple certifications in the various areas of sonography.

Is Continuing Education Required?

Continuing education is required to maintain certification. Each agency requires a different amount of hours. The ARDMS, which is valid for ten years, requires 30 hours of CE credits. The ARRT, which is good for two years, requires 24 hours of CE credits. The CCI, which is valid for three years, requires completing 36 hours of CE credits. Diagnostic medical sonographers who fail to complete the CE will have to take a recertification exam.

Low/Medium/High Salary for Ultrasound Technicians in Indiana

Wages in Indiana vary throughout the state. Factors affecting wages include levels of study and experience, certifications obtained and the geographic location. The salaries range from $27,000 to $85,000, with vascular sonographers earning the lowest and registered vascular sonographers earning the highest wages. Echo sonographers in Indiana earned about $50,000, while cardiac sonographers earned about $67,000. These salaries were as of an April 2014 report by Indeed.com.

What Job Duties Can an Ultrasound Technician Perform in Indiana?

As an ultrasound technician working in Indiana, you’ll have contact with patients in need of sonography procedures. You will be with them from the beginning, obtaining and documenting the patient’s medical history, and will be with them through the procedure. Prior to the procedure, you will get the imaging equipment ready and ensure that it’s functioning correctly. During the procedure, you’ll talk with the patient and listen to any concerns they may have. Your knowledge of sonography will help you to differentiate an abnormal reading from a normal reading. Upon completion of the procedure, you will prepare a summary for the physician, but will not inform the patient of your findings or your beliefs.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Indiana?

The time it takes to complete an ultrasound technician program depends on the program. The associate degree program takes two years to complete, and the bachelor’s degree program takes four years. Students in the baccalaureate program will take two years of general education courses, one year of sonography courses and one year specializing in either cardiac or vascular sonography courses.