Ultrasound technician training is highly important and required for a career in ultrasonography. Ultrasound technicians, or sonographers as they are often called, use equipment that transmits sound waves to the body in order to capture images of a patient’s internal organs. This is a popular field and the number of technicians needed in hospitals is growing.
Ultrasound technician training begins long before a student is introduced to any imaging equipment. Schools which offer certifications and degrees in this career field prefer a candidate to have a solid background of science, math, and/or computer technology, usually acquired in high school. Reading and writing proficiency are also taken into account when evaluating an applicant for admission into a ultrasound technician program.
Students should, likewise, evaluate the schools to which they are applying so that long-term educational and certification goals are met.
For example, a school’s training for ultrasound technicians should be accredited by the CAAHEP, or Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. If the school is not accredited by this organization, look for other accrediting bodies.
To become a sonographer, you must first go through training. The training takes place at vocational schools, colleges and universities. Some hospitals provide accredited training as well. The training is an important part of providing hands-on experience and preparing students for the field.
Ultrasound Technician Training
Applicants should be aware that different schools focus on different curriculums. Some may specialize in teaching the technical aspects of the ultrasound procedure, while others emphasize how to read and interpret ultrasound images. It may be useful to find a program which covers these areas equally.
What Does Ultrasound Technician Training Cover?
Aside from regular instructions, students receive hands-on training. They learn about the physics of sonography and the instrumentation of the equipment. Students also learn about gray scale and color-flow Doppler sonography. This is to help them understand images captured by sonographs. They will receive training in human anatomy and physiology in order to understand the mechanisms of the body.
Furthermore, students will learn medical terminology and ethics. Some programs require students to do an unpaid clinical externship at a facility. This is to ensure that students get the most experience they need in the field. Once the training is complete, students will take an exam.
Training prepares students for directing patients and achieving the right position for the sonograph. Students need to learn how to communicate, be friendly and caring. They must also learn how to record patient medical history and be able to look for details in the images that can point to a diagnosis.
Ultrasound technician training is regarded as necessary to become completely proficient in practicing this specialized career field. Although it is not required by any state in the US to become a registered ultrasound technician, a growing number of employers require registration for hiring. This ensures that they only hire technicians that meet a certain level of standards in training and education.
When it comes to paying for this specialized education, it is also helpful to know if a particular school makes scholarships, grants, work-study and other financial aid opportunities available to their students.
Once admitted, the student can choose the level of training and certification they wish to pursue. Options include a one-year certification, two-year associates degree or four-year bachelors degree. All ultrasound technician careers require that certifications be kept up-to-date by earning the required CEUs or Continuing Education Units.
During the course of ultrasound technician training the student will be taught how this imaging technology is used to identify potential problems within the body, such as, tumors, blood clots and inflammation in major organs, as well as, progression of a pregnancy, including the fetus growth and amniotic fluid volume.
Students are taught how to use the imaging instrument, or transducer, to transmit high frequency sound waves through the internal organ or particular area of the body under examination. The sound waves echo back to the transducer which reconfigures them into a visual image which will be used to diagnose any detected abnormality.
In recent years ultrasound has become the preference of surgeons and doctors who need immediate answers to their patients problems. Slower, less-precise (and risky) x-ray has been replaced by the sharp, more-accurate images of ultrasound.
Ultrasound technician training is usually rounded out with required classes in human anatomy, medical ethics, physiology and patient care.