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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Oklahoma

If the idea of joining the medical field in a position that allows you to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and disease, you may find a career as an ultrasound technician a good fit. To learn everything you need to know to become an ultrasound technician in Oklahoma, continue reading.

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

To become an ultrasound technician in Oklahoma, you must complete an accredited training program in sonography or diagnostic medical sonography. To graduate from the program, you must complete both didactic (coursework and lab courses) and clinical education. The clinical education requires the student to complete an internship to learn all areas of sonography. According to Education News, there are at least six accredited schools in Oklahoma that offer ultrasound technician programs.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Although ultrasound technician programs don’t typically require prior training or education, students must have completed certain prerequisite courses. CPR certification is usually a requirement. Because these programs usually have a selective admissions policy, the student must also meet program-specific admission requirements. These may include criminal background and drug screening clearance, as well as proof of current immunizations, physical health examinations and health or liability insurance.

Are Ultrasound Technicians Required to be Certified?

Although certification of ultrasound technicians is not a legal requirement in Oklahoma, most employers want their technicians to be certificated. Certification demonstrates not only your knowledge but also you commitment to this field.

How Can an Ultrasound Technician Become Certified?

Diagnostic medical sonographers can obtain certification through a couple different paths. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) all offer certification for ultrasound technicians. To obtain certification, the student must have completed an accredited sonography training program and must pass the required certification exams.

There are various specialized areas within the sonography field that the individual can obtain certification in, such as gynecological and obstetrical ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound, vascular technology, ultrasound physics, cardiac and echocardiography. Depending on the agency, the sonographer may earn the Certified or Registered credentials or both.

Is Continuing Education Required?

As a certified or registered diagnostic medical sonographers, you’re required to complete continuing education (CE)credits to maintain your certification. The CE requirements vary according to which agency you are certified with. ARDMS certification, which is good for ten years, requires at least 30 hours of CE, and it must be completed in the last three certification years. ARRT certification, which is valid for two years, requires completion of 24 hours of CE, and 16 of the hours must be in your specific specialization area. CCI certification is good for three years and requires 36 hours of CE credits if you’re maintaining the registered level of certification and 16 hours for the certified level.

Low/Medium/High Salary for Ultrasound Technicians in Oklahoma

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, diagnostic medical sonographers in Oklahoma earned a mean annual wage of $64,900 as of May 2012. The wages, however, vary throughout the state of Oklahoma and can be affected by the geographic location, the place of employment, level of training, certifications obtained and the work experience that the individual possesses. Another factor determining wages was the area of specialization.

Some of the lowest wages in the state were earned by vascular sonographers, who earned average wages of $38,000, while the highest wages of $80,000 were earned by Gynecology Sonographers. Cardiac sonographers and Radiology Ultrasound Technologists earned $63,000 and $58,000 respectively.

What Job Duties Can an Ultrasound Technician Perform in Oklahoma?

As an ultrasound technician working in Oklahoma, you job duties may vary depending on where you’re employed. Diagnostic medical sonographers may work in clinics, hospitals or outpatient care facilities. In addition to taking and documenting the patient’s medical history and health records, you will help prepare the patient for the sonography procedure and answer any questions they may have. Your duties may also be preparing the diagnostic imaging equipment and clean up after the procedure.

Once you’ve performed the procedure on the patient, you’ll prepare a summary for the physician. Your knowledge of sonography will help you tell the difference between a normal and an abnormal reading and, if needed, you can perform additional imaging procedures. However, when the procedure is finished, you will inform the patient that the physician will provide them with information regarding the procedure.

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

Students interested in becoming an ultrasound technician in Oklahoma can complete their training programs in anywhere from a year to four years, depending on the program chosen and their final career goals. Formal diagnostic medical sonography training is typically offered as 2-year associate degree or 4-year bachelor degree programs. Certificate programs are also offered for those who are already employed in healthcare jobs such as radiation therapists, and these certificate programs can be completed in anywhere from one year to 18 months.