Ultrasound technicians work in an interesting healthcare field. They project sound waves into a patient’s body in order to capture images of blood flow, internal tissues, or organs in order for a physician to make a diagnosis or to monitor a condition to see if it is improving or worsening.
Before technicians can find a job, they must first attend college. The minimum requirement is an Associate of Applied Science degree, though more and more students are choosing to earn a Bachelor of Science degree. This is because it opens up more opportunities such as better jobs and higher wages.
Programs are found at community colleges, universities, and even vocational schools. Where prospective technicians choose to attend classes is a personal choice, however, they need to make sure the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Not only does this credential ensure the program’s quality, but it makes it easier for students to meet the eligibility requirements for the optional certification exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
The curriculum varies from school to school, but some ultrasound technician courses you may have to take are:
Introduction to Sonographic Scanning – This course includes an introduction and evaluation of dexterity, sensitivity, and visual acuity required to create sonographic images that are essential to diagnostic medical sonography.
Initial Sonographic Scanning – Students learn transducer manipulations applications, instrumentation controls, body mechanics, scanning techniques, and how to recognize anatomic structures in a laboratory setting.
Cardiac Diagnostic Procedures – Theory and lab procedures of entry-level cardiovascular procedures of electrocardiography.
Pediatric Cardiovascular Anatomy, Physiology, and Assessment – This course explains the cardiovascular system of pediatric patients as it relates to embryological development of the heart, abnormal heart formation, fetal circulation, cardiac function, and hemodynamics, along with an introduction to congenital cardiovascular defects.
Sonographic Case Studies – This course integrates concepts and knowledge from clinical experiences and didactic content.
Echocardiography I – The study of normal anatomy, anatomic variants, physiology pathology, and pathophysiology of the heart with ultrasound.
Echocardiography II – This is the introduction to physical signs symptoms, and indications for an echocardiogram reviewed for each major pathology.
Sonographic Pathology – This is the specialized study of common disease processes that are relevant to sonographic imaging.
Doppler Principles and Instrumentation – Students study the display mode, hemodynamics, resolution, and other instrumentation as it relates to ultrasound.
OB/GYN Sonogram – Students learn all about the anatomy of the female pelvis, neonatal sonograms, and obstetric ultrasound techniques.
Medical Terminology – This course includes anything related to anatomy, discusses medical devices, and medicine.
Concepts of Physics in Diagnostic Sonography – Introduction to general physical concepts and related mathematics.
Sonography Capstone – This capstone diagnostic medical sonography course includes the assessment, of the student’s integration of the coursework, knowledge, and their experience and skills as an ultrasound technician student. Interview skills, certification, and professional involvement are also stressed.
Students start an externship once they have competed the ultrasound technician curriculum. They work a full schedule for approximately six months (varies by program) at a hospital, laboratory, or physician’s office where they work alongside an experienced professional. Supervisors fill out progress reports, and upon successful completion, students can look for entry-level positions.
The courses above help prepare ultrasound technicians for the daily duties they are responsible for performing. They are:
- Calibrating the machine after each patient’s exam
- Answering any questions patients have about their exam
- Sterilizing the patient table
- Preparing written or oral reports of the preliminary results for physicians
- Charting a patient’s medical history
If we can help you learn more about the ultrasound technician courses, please contact us.