An ultrasound is a type of non-invasive medical imaging process. This process uses high frequency sounds and transducers to create an image of a patientís blood flow, tissues, and internal organs. In order to perform an ultrasound an individual will have to attend some type of ultrasound technician training program.
Types of Degrees
There are several ultrasound technician training programs from which to choose. These include a basic certificate program that will take around a year to complete, an associateís degree which typically takes two to three years to complete, and a bachelorís degree program, which will take around four years to complete. After completing an ultrasound technician training program, individuals will have the option of obtaining other credentials such as certification and continuing education credits through different trade organizations.
During the course of an ultrasound technician training program, a student can expect hands-on learning experiences in instrumentation and sonographic physics, medical ethics, medical terminology, human physiology, and anatomy. One of the most important experiences is learning how to read color flow and gray scale Doppler sonography. Most ultrasound training programs will also require an individual to complete an unpaid internship at a facility that provides ultrasounds. Some schools will have several options for placement as an intern to complete this requirement.
In addition to the required courses in a training program, a student can also choose to specialize in a certain area of ultrasound as well. Some choices include abdominal, obstetrical and gynecological, neurological, vascular, and ophthalmic ultrasounds. In order to specialize in a certain area a student will need to take additional coursework that pertains specifically to the area in which they wish to specialize. Most programs have several options from which students may choose.
After completing a certificate, associateís degree, or bachelorís degree program in ultrasound technology, an individual should consider becoming certified. Certification will require an individual to sit for and pass an examination that covers all of the basic information required to be an ultrasound technician. An individual that passes this examination will be certified and more likely to find employment. Additionally, certified ultrasound technicians typically are paid more than those who are not certified.
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Almost 60 % of ultrasound technician jobs consist of working for both public and private hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth in this field is expected to grow for the foreseeable future at a pace higher than the average growth rate for all jobs. The increase in demand for this occupation is partially due to the increased elderly population. While hospitals will still be the main employer of ultrasound technicians, there will be an increased number of jobs available in physicianís offices as well.
In order to become an ultrasound technician a person must attend a certificate or degree program through an accredited school. There are several program options available to anyone aspiring to become an ultrasound technician, including both traditional on campus courses and online degree programs. With all of the options, there is sure to be a program that is a perfect fit for almost any lifestyle.