Associate’s degree is the lowest education program required to become an ultrasound technician. Nonetheless, you can also enroll in the higher levels of ultrasound technician programs such as bachelor’s degree or even master’s degree. With a higher education level, you should easily occupy the more advanced position at your workplace and receive higher salary as well.
1. Associate’s degree in sonography
The major training courses provided in associate’s degree training program are patient care and diagnostic sonography. Students should also be able to present the imaging results generated from ultrasound transducer equipment to physician. Once the students graduate from this program, they can enroll in ARDMS exam for certification.
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Before you can enroll in associate’s degree program, you are required to achieve high school diploma. You must also excel in major coursework including physics, science, and algebra.
In general, associate’s degree includes many different courses including abdominal ultrasound, cardiac sonography, patient care, obstetric and gynecologic sonography, vascular sonography, diagnostic medical sonography, and cross-sectional anatomy. Graduated students most commonly work as sonography technician, sonography instrument sales, or urgent-care technician.
2. Bachelor’s degree
The more advanced education level you can take is bachelor’s degree program. Compared to associate’s degree, this program will teach more advanced techniques. It basically prepares you to occupy advanced position in sonography laboratories, physicians’ offices, or clinic, or hospital. You will also learn a good deal of knowledge to be able to handle managerial roles in the field of sonography.
Similar to associate’s degree, you are required to have GED or high school diploma before you can enroll in this program. The good thing is that the graduates from associate’s degree are allowed to transfer credits to bachelor’s degree program.
The courses and training provided include neurosonography, medical terminology, echocardiography, pathophysiology, and obstetric and gynecologic sonography. Other courses are abdominal ultrasound, anatomy, physiology, cross-sectional anatomy, vascular ultrasound, and diagnostic medical.
Many educational institutions in the country provide these ultrasound technician programs. The graduates most commonly find jobs at hospitals, medical laboratories, colleges and doctor’s offices.
3. Master’s degree
In United States, University of Missouri is the only education institution that provides master’s degree in sonography technology. Master’s degree is as well the highest education level among all ultrasound technician programs available in the country. Students are allowed to choose specific field of sonography such as abdominal, echocardiography, vascular, or obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound.
Besides the mentioned courses, master’s degree program also provides research courses. The students must excel in various coursework studies including biology, algebra, physics, physiology, chemistry, and anatomy. Those who have graduated from bachelor’s degree programs may also transfer credits to master’s degree program.
The advanced courses provided in the program include pathological imaging, sectional anatomy, adult cardiac sonography, superficial organ sonography, cardiac principles, pediatric cardiac sonography, and diagnostic medical research procedures. It also includes vascular sonography and gynecologic and obstetric sonography.
Career options for graduates include echocardiography professor, sonographic equipment research and development, and sonographic technology professor.
As mentioned earlier, advanced ultrasound technician programs will basically lead you to the more advanced position at your workplace. The programs are available at universities, technical schools, and community colleges as well. There are actually few states that expect sonographers to be certified and licensed. You may enroll in ARDMS examination after graduating from associate’s degree program.