Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, are trained medical professionals. They operate special imaging equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to create visual images of the internal structures of the body. These images are then assessed and analyzed to detect any abnormalities and are used by physicians to diagnose any medical conditions. Someone who has an interest in joining an in-demand healthcare field may be drawn to diagnostic medical sonography, which requires formal education such as an associate or bachelor’s degree to practice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers prefer a degree from an accredited institute or hospital program, so we recommend applying to accredited online degree programs.
Online Associate Degree Programs for Ultrasound Technician
In an online degree program at the associate level students take classes in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, radiographic procedures, radiographic imaging, and ultrasound physics, among others. These courses train them to safely perform sonographic procedures and read sonography images. They are also often familiarized with the ethics and professional standards of the profession. Some online degree programs for ultrasound technician may allow students to take specialized classes in an area of ultrasound, such as cardiac, vascular, or more general ultrasound practice, which includes abdomen, obstetrics, and gynecology. Upon completion graduates may be eligible to take examinations in physics, abdomen, and obstetrics and gynecology administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and become certified ultrasound technicians.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Ultrasound Technician
Online bachelor degree programs in sonography would cover many of the same topics as an associate degree program while offering the opportunity for more advanced study and specialized practice. Online college degree programs on the bachelor’s degree level may cover general ultrasound and cardiovascular ultrasound. Classes an ultrasound technician student can expect to take in an online bachelor’s program include human anatomy and physiology, medical ethics and law, ultrasound physics, ultrasound instrumentation, and vascular sonography. The best online degree programs also require students to spend a certain number of hours in a clinic or internship to gain hands-on experience and observe professional practice in action before entering the field themselves. Upon completion they may be eligible to apply to the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography for examinations in physics, abdomen, and obstetrics and gynecology, as well as vascular and echocardiography.
Online Degree Programs in Ultrasound Technician in the Work Place
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 61% of diagnostic medical sonographers worked in state, local, or private hospitals in 2010. Meanwhile, 24% worked in the offices of physicians, 9% in medical and diagnostic laboratories, and 2% in outpatient care centers. The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $64,380 in May 2010, according to the BLS. Those in medical and diagnostic laboratories made slightly less than the median annual wage.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is one of the fastest-growing careers. According to the BLS, employment of ultrasound technicians is expected to grow 44% from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than the average growth for all occupations. This is due to increasing use of sonography. The BLS predicts that more medical facilities and patients will favor ultrasound imaging technology over procedures that are more costly, invasive, or expose patients to radiation. Employment growth is expected to be more rapid in physicians’ offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Sonographers with certification in more than one specialty, such as abdomen or vascular, are expected to have better opportunities than those certified in just one.