What Do You Need to Become an Ultrasound Tech?

If you’re considering a career in ultrasound technology, you might be wondering what you need to do to get started. Read on to learn about the education and training requirements for ultrasound technicians.

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Introduction

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat patients. Ultrasound techs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers.

Becoming an ultrasound tech generally requires completing an accredited program in diagnostic medical sonography. Programs typically take two years to complete and result in an associate’s degree or professional certificate. Some employers may require certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

In addition to completing an accredited program, ultrasound techs must have good interpersonal skills and be able to work well as part of a team. They must also be able to work independently and be detail oriented. Ultrasound techs must be able to stand for long periods of time, as well as lift and move patients when necessary.

What is an Ultrasound Tech?

An ultrasound technologist, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a trained professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound technologists must have at least an Associate’s degree from an accredited program, although many technologists choose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, most states require licensure or certification. Once they have completed their education and training, ultrasound technologists can find employment in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

What Education is Needed to Become an Ultrasound Tech?

While there are no specific educational requirements to become an ultrasound technician, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited training program. These programs typically last between one and four years and lead to a certificate, diploma, or degree.

Ultrasound technician programs cover a wide range of topics, including human anatomy, medical ethics, and imaging techniques. Upon completing an accredited program, students are eligible to take the national examination administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Earning ARDMS certification is often required for employment as an ultrasound technician.

What are the Prerequisites for Becoming an Ultrasound Tech?

While the specific prerequisites for becoming an ultrasound tech vary by state, there are some general requirements that all aspiring ultrasound technicians will need to meet. In most cases, you will need to have completed high school or earned your GED, and you will need to have completed at least some college coursework. Many ultrasound tech programs also require that you have completed certain prerequisite courses in math and science. Once you have met these general requirements, you can apply to an accredited ultrasound tech program.

What are the Certification and Training Programs Available for Ultrasound Techs?

There are many certification and training programs available for ultrasound techs. Some of these programs are offered by traditional colleges and universities, while others are offered by specialized training institutes.

Most ultrasound tech programs will require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some may require you to have completed some college coursework as well. In addition, you will need to complete a formal training program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

After you have completed your training program, you will then need to pass a national certification exam in order to become a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). Once you have obtained your RDMS certification, you will be able to apply for state licensure, if required.

There are many different types of ultrasound machines that ultrasound techs may be required to use, so it is important that they receive proper training on how to operate each type of machine.Ultrasound techs must also be able to maintain communication with patients during examinations and provide them with instructions when necessary.

What are the Job Opportunities for Ultrasound Techs?

Ultrasound techs work in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. They use special equipment to create images of internal organs, tissue, and blood flow. These images are used by doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Most ultrasound techs work full time. Some techs may work evenings or weekends, or may be on call.

Some techs travel to patients’ homes or to other locations to provide services.

What is the Salary Range for Ultrasound Techs?

The average salary for an ultrasound tech was $74,510 in 2018, with the top 10 percent earning more than $103,580. Salaries vary depending on experience, geographic location, and the type of facility where you work.

What are the Job Duties of an Ultrasound Tech?

As an ultrasound technician, or sonographer, you will use special equipment to create images of patients’ internal organs, vessels and pregnancies. Your job duties may also include:

Reviewing patients’ medical histories
Explaining the ultrasound procedure to patients
Positioning patients on examination tables
Conducting diagnostic examinations
Operating computerized equipment
Selecting and applying ultrasound gel to patients’ skin
Moving the transducer across the patient’s body to capture the images
Documenting findings and storing or transmitting images
Maintaining equipment

What are the Work Settings for Ultrasound Techs?

Ultrasound techs can find employment in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, private clinics, diagnostic centers, and physicians’ offices. Some ultrasound techs even find work in research labs or academic medical centers. The work setting that an ultrasound tech chooses will often dictate the type of patients that he or she will work with. For example, those who work in clinics or physicians’ offices will typically provide diagnostic services to outpatients, while those who work in hospitals may provide both inpatient and outpatient care.

What are the Career Paths for Ultrasound Techs?

Those who want to become ultrasound techs have several career paths open to them. The most common path is to enter a hospital or other healthcare facility and work there as an employee. There are also many opportunities for ultrasound techs to work in private clinics, doctors’ offices, and other outpatient settings. Those who have strong entrepreneurial skills may even decide to open their own ultrasound imaging business.

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