Anyone who is considering becoming an ultrasound technician, or a diagnostic medical sonographer, should look into ultrasound technician programs. Employers generally prefer that sonographers have completed training at an accredited program or school before being hired.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) has accredited over 150 training programs since 2008. When a program is accredited, it means that the student will meet the education and experience standards necessary in the workforce.
Students generally obtain an associate’s degree in the healthcare field or another related field. Some students take the 4-year route at a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Today, it is also possible to receive a degree through online schools. Online degree programs are different in that they are more flexible, but they do not offer one-on-one experience.
An ultrasound technician program offers training at a school, hospital or the armed forces. Once the training program is completed, some technicians go on to earn more credentials by registering with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Although not required, it is recommended that sonographers obtain registration as it helps increase credibility. Training allows students to receive hands-on experience in handling equipment, human anatomy, ethics, medical terminology and the physics of sonography.
Once training is complete, ultrasound technicians can enter the clinical field. Some technicians will specialize in a specific area of ultrasound. Specialization may require extra certification. There are many schools and programs available for ultrasound technician careers. It is important to weigh all options and choose a program that fits your needs.