Grab Your Future With Both Hands: Become an Ultrasound Technician
Medical ultrasound technology is on the front lines of the battle to save lives by allowing physicians to better diagnose disease, look for bleeding, and check for organ damage. If the idea of being a part of the team that saves lives appeals to you, consider becoming an ultrasound technician.
Exciting Duties of an Ultrasound Technician
Being a sonographer requires a blend of personal interaction skills and technical skills. As an ultrasound technician you will perform life saving exams, work side-by-side with the Emergency Department team, and be a part of surgery. Once you receive a license in sonography, your daily duties will include:
* Gathering patient history
* Prepare the patient for the procedure, discuss the exam, answer questions, and give positioning instructions for an optimal examination
* Perform procedures using ultrasound equipment
* Document the outcome of the examination
* Present the data collected to the physicians
* Maintain and care for the ultrasound machine
In 2012 the average income of a sonographer was over $70,000. Maryland holds the distinction of a higher than average income per capita with the highest concentration of biological scientists, health care providers, and technical professionals. Maryland’s goal is to become a national leader in the health care industry, which will ultimately create more jobs. Growth in the medical imaging industry is expected to rise 44 percent by 2020. With certificates in vascular and cardiac sonography your potential earnings can be upward of $84,000 annually, and over the course of your career you have opportunities for career advancement into management.
Maryland Educational Requirements
To become a diagnostic ultrasound technician in Maryland you are required to complete an accredited training program and earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Montgomery County Community College in Takoma Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore are accredited and offer several options to complete your education and obtain a license:
* Prior education must be completed before you apply. These prerequisites are also a part of many other degree plans that will transfer to the ultrasound program and include courses in anatomy and physiology; a higher math such as statistics or algebra; a communication course, like speech; physics; medical ethics and terminology; patient care; pathophysiology; and a current CPR card.
* A 2-year program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. This degree plan provides a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training with patients using ultrasound equipment. The degree plan consists of 24 months, 60 semester hours, or 84 quarter hours of classroom time and a minimum of 1,560 hours (the equivalent of working a full-time job for a year) of supervised instruction using ultrasound equipment on patients.
* If you already have a degree in another clinically related health profession, such as a Radiology Technician, Respiratory Therapy or nursing, you can take a 1-year certificate program to earn a degree in ultrasound.
* Bachelor Degrees in ultrasound technology involve completing a four-year program consisting of the advanced study of sonography, pathology, and developing technology.
* Certificate programs offer specialty training such as vascular and cardiac skills. They increase your knowledge, give you more credentials, and raise your earning potential. These programs last anywhere from a few months to a year for completion.
* Ultrasound technicians are required to earn 30 continuing medical educational hours every three years. Sonographers can join the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. This allows you to record your continuing education hours, shows that you are in good standing, and will make scoring the perfect job easy. Renewal is $60 annually and random audits are made to ensure that certified sonographers are compliant with ongoing training and education.
Do you want a safe, stable, financially secure future? Earn a degree at one of Maryland’s ultrasound schools, and obtain your sonongraphy license. Good economy or bad, the growing population guarantees an ever-increasing need for ultrasound professionals. Give a helping hand to a stranger in need, experience the joy of a parent’s journey through the miracle of pregnancy, save a life, and wake up everyday knowing you’ll make a difference. Live the life you’ve always dreamed by becoming an ultrasound technician.