Ultrasound technicians get to experience the joy of participating with patients in one of the most special moments in a woman’s journey through pregnancy. Few other careers offer the same rich plethora of experiences and enable you to have such a positive impact on others. Ultrasound technicians are familiar with the vital role they play in diagnosing the medical condition of a patient, and they become adept and utilizing the powerful technology involved in the ultrasound.
Ultrasound Technician Requirements
The requirements for those who want to become ultrasound technicians include completion of a postgraduate certificate program or an associate’s degree from a accredited program. Ultrasound technicians should be computer proficient as the computer forms the basis of virtually all ultrasound technology. Prospective students should seek out programs that are accredited by the CAAHEP, otherwise known as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Ultrasound training programs are provided by hospitals, community colleges, universities, vocational schools and the Armed Forces. Students going into the program will find out that it is highly math, science and computer intensive.
Similar vocational training can be found in parallel health fields that such as through year long sonography training programs, which provide professional certificates. There are also online training programs, which should be double checked with the American Registry in Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) before registering to verify their accreditation.
Ultrasound Technicians Training & Certification
The participation in mandatory clinical internships are also required for the successful completion of ultrasound technician training programs. In these internships students receive hands on experience in a real clinical healthcare setting, utilizing the ultrasound skills they’ve learned in the program. There are also continuing education opportunities and professional conferences through which ultrasound technologists can receive additional experience and training after the program.
There are a number of vital skills and abilities that ultrasound technicians are expected to demonstrate to perform successfully as important functions of their position. Ultrasound technicians must have excellent verbal and interpersonal relationship skills in order to work well with other members of the team and to interact positively with the patients. They should have high dexterity and the ability to stand for extended periods f time. They must also hone the ability to think critically in order to select images that will be the most useful for physicians.
Opportunities for Moving Up
Ultrasound technicians have the opportunity to specialize in a wide array of different areas such as breast ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound, obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound, vascular ultrasound, neurosonograpy and ophthalmologic ultrasonography.
Ultrasound technicians also have opportunities for advancement in career. Qualified and promising candidates have may have opportunities to move into supervisory roles such as assistant chief technologist, senior technologist, supervisor, instructor, assistant chief technologist and program director. In addition to these opportunities, ultrasound technicians that obtain their bachelor’s or master’s degree in ultrasound technology can go on to train and educate a new generation of students.
Ultrasound technicians utilize a handheld device which is known as a transducer. With this technology they transmit high frequency sound waves which enables them to view images that are transmitted onto a display screen. They record the most relevant and informative images to be reviewed by a physician. They are able to pick out the most important images throughout their knowledge of anatomy. Ultrasound technicians also perform a variety of other ultrasound readings for different purposes such as in identifying the gender of a baby or in determining the direction and flow of blood in a vessel.
New Mexico’s Job Outlook
The outlook for job growth, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is estimated to be at a percentage rate of 44% from 2010 to 2020. Their are many fields that utilize ultrasound technology as a diagnostic imaging tool, as it feels less invasive than other diagnostic techniques and can prove to be more cost-effective.