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Things to Consider When Choosing an Ultrasound Technician Program

Ultrasound diagnostic digital imaging is one of the fastest emerging fields in the healthcare industry. Ultrasound technician schools are turning out well-trained students who are up-to-date with the most current sonography technologies. As a result, there is a very high demand for their unique experience sand skills. Ultrasound therapy is fast becoming the diagnostic method of choice in many areas of medicine, leaving healthcare institutions competing amongst themselves for the most qualified sonographers who are educated at the leading ultrasound technician training schools.

Sonogram Technicians use an instrument called a transducer to transmit high frequency sound waves through the body of the patient. As the sound waves bounce off the targeted body part or organ, their echoes are captured by specialized equipment that converts them into visual images. The internal images are then examined by a trained and credentialed diagnostic physician via digital imaging.

Programs to Consider:

Ultrasound is perhaps most often associated with pregnancies, but now diagnostic medical sonography is used to scan everything from the nervous system to the digestive system, blood vessels, tumors, the eyes and more. Health care professionals often prefer ultrasound to other diagnostic scanning techniques (such as radiographic technology, or x-rays) due to the safety of this non-invasive technology and its ability to capture such detailed images.

There are many uses for ultrasound, and as researchers discover even more uses for diagnostic medical sonography, the technology continues to evolve quickly. Ultrasound is not only usable for diagnosis, but it can now be used for the treatment and prevention of certain medical conditions as well. The technological growth of sonography has created a constant need for responsible and trained medical assistant ultrasound technicians to fill positions in hospitals, clinics, and other medical healthcare facilities.

While research has shown that Diagnostic Sonography has no harmful effects for the patient or sonographer, the complexity and importance of the procedure mandate that a "certified" sonographer do the job. Today's Sonographer does more than just operate the machinery. They have the responsibility of explaining the procedure to patients, directing patients into positions that will obtain the best results, finding initial indications of healthy or unhealthy areas, and recording the images for further diagnosis by the physician.

Because the sonographer plays such an important part in the procedure, many healthcare institutions choose to display the credentials of their ultrasound technicians in the examination room. Patients expect to see that training was received at a certified school and met national certification requirements. Once certified, ultrasound technicians must keep up with current trends through continuing education.

With the diagnostic skills you obtain through ultrasound training, you can earn an average of up to $29 per hour, or an annual salary of more than $83,950. Of course, earnings vary from location to location and depending on experience, but even new ultrasound technicians can command more than $37,000 in their first year on the job.

The ultrasound technician training schools featured on the right offer general and specialized diagnostic medical courses. Even if you're already working in the healthcare industry, a 1-year specialized course can broaden your career opportunities or boost your chances for promotion in your current job. Taking a class from an ultrasound tech training school can also help you learn all about the new technology.

  • Accreditation - Has the program been accredited by the CAAHEP or other accrediting body?
  • Focus - Is the school curriculum more focused on learning the technology or learning how to work in a medical setting with patients and doctors? As the student, which would you prefer?
  • Practical experience - How much importance is placed on supervised clinical experience?
  • School and class size - What is the average class size for most courses? What kinds of financial aid are offered (scholarships, loans, work study, grants, etc.)?
  • Graduate success - Of those who graduate from the program, how many become ARDMS certified?