Online sonography degree programs allow people to become diagnostic medical sonographers or ultrasound technicians from the comfort of their own homes. Most of the online programs are modeled after the associates’ degree programs, and thus, they take two years to complete if the work is done on a full time basis. However, if the classes are done on a part-time basis, the program will take longer to complete.
Due to the nature of these programs, it is easy to complete these programs online. Many of the classes concern scientific topics like elementary physics, anatomy and physiology. These topics are straightforward enough to cover in textbooks and through testing. The required courses will also focus on topics like medical ethics and patient interaction which can be covered remotely. A large part of the degree program concerns classes on how to work the sonography or ultrasound equipment. Much of this information can be covered in books. However, some of it must be completed in person. Due to that fact, some online sonography degree programs do require their students to complete a one-year internship.
These internships can be completed at a local hospital or doctor’s office. Currently, the CAAHEP (Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals) lists three accredited online or distance learning programs on their website. These programs are at Washburn University in Kansas, Jackson Community College in Michigan, and Mountain State University in West Virginia. The programs based in Michigan and West Virginia offer associates’ degrees while the program in Kansas offers a Baccalaureate degree. Currently, it is not possible to get a Masters in diagnostic sonography from any of these institutions.
The program at Jackson Community College allows their students to procure a certificate or an associates degree, and it allows them to choose a general course of study or to choose an emphasis in vascular or cardiac sonography. Mountain State University offers a general associates’ degrees with no possibility of specialization. Washburn University allows it students to earn a Baccalaureate or a certificate with the same specializations as Jackson Community College.
Once you have completed one of these online sonography degree programs, you should also get professionally certified. It is not mandated by law to be certified. However, it will increase your chances of finding a job. Because jobs in this industry pay between $40,000 and $80,000, you should make your resume look as good as possible. You can obtain your certification through the The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, The Registry of Radiology Technologists, or Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Once you have a degree and are certified, you can look forward to a well paid career in a growing field.