A career as an ultrasound technician can open many doors for the future. In order to obtain a challenging and stable position in this area, you must become certified in your field. Ultrasound technician certification programs are available from many accredited colleges and universities across the country. Individuals interested in this field must complete a minimum of two years training (Associate Degree) in sonography technology from an accredited institution before they can begin to practice their profession. For a more comprehensive program, you can complete a four year program or Bachelor’s degree in the healthcare field with a major in this area.
The minimum requirement for entering a certification program is a high school diploma. Some programs may ask prospective students to have some previous background in health or science, while others will accept high school graduates who show potential in the area of math, science and health. Many experienced registered nurses continue their education by learning ultrasound technology so they can expand their careers. Because of their previous experience, they may complete this program in one year rather than two, before beginning to practice their skills.
Ultrasound certification programs cover a wide range of medical topics to include OB-GYN scanning, physiology, anatomy, medical ethics and terminology, general health care procedures and more. Students are also expected to undergo extensive training in the use of ultrasound equipment corresponding to the student’s chosen specialization. In addition to theoretical concepts, students must complete a specific number of hours in clinical training to gain the practical experience they need. This instruction is generally conducted in an outside health facility under supervision of experienced technicians employed within the same facility. The more on-the-job preparation you can receive as part of your program, the more hands on experience you will gain. This can be extremely helpful in getting a higher paying job once you graduate from your program.
Graduates of a qualified certification program can apply to take a final examination with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography for recognition in their field. This examination is standard procedure for future medical sonographers and it will verify the education they have received. By passing this examination, graduates are recognized as qualified professionals in their field and they can begin looking for the employment opportunities they choose. It is not unusual for technicians to continue their education during the course of their employment by enrolling in ongoing educational programs or taking advanced courses that keeps them on the cutting edge of their profession.
Ultrasound technician certification programs require a good deal of focus, concentration and commitment to produce highly qualified technicians in their field. This is a highly technical field that requires a good understanding of advanced health, science and mathematical concepts to keep up with new technologies that arise. Specializations in this area include neurosonography (brain imaging), echocardiography (heart imaging) or imaging of other body systems and organs. Not everyone has the interest or the capabilities required to become an ultrasound technician. However, for those who feel this is their calling, a career in this field can be a prosperous and successful one that is worth the investment.