One of the fastest ways to get into a medical career, without a lot of schooling, is by becoming an ultrasound technician. These professionals provide evidence to a doctor of what is inside a person’s body using images and measurements, so that the doctor can examine it and make a diagnosis.
Education & Training
At a minimum, you will need to earn a diploma in Ultrasound Technology / Diagnostic Medical Sonography from a reputable school in order to enter this career.
Keiser University offers an
The program last 24 to 28 months and meets approximately 20 to 25 hours per week.
How Much Does It Cost?
According to the school’s tuition calculator, the cost could be anywhere between $22,000 and $26,000 but as low as $18,000 with a grant.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography course integrates classroom learning, practical laboratory exercises, and valuable clinical experience. Through this program, you will develop the essential skills to conduct diagnostic procedures, capture precise diagnostic images, and interpret technical data accurately.
The comprehensive coursework encompasses various critical areas, such as abdominal, obstetrics/gynecology, and vascular sonography. You will delve into topics like acoustic physics and instrumentation, as well as cross-sectional anatomy to deepen your understanding of the field.
During your externship phase, you will be provided with hands-on opportunities to gain real-world experience in actual healthcare settings. This practical exposure will bolster your confidence and competence as you apply your acquired knowledge in real-life scenarios.
In addition to education, many employers would be more likely to hire someone who has a form of national certification. The classes at Keiser meet state educational requirements for professional licensure.
The most common certification is provided by The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) who certifies each person who passes a six-section exam testing basic physical principles and instrumentation knowledge as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). If you wish you to specialize in a certain area of the body, the credential is provided for different areas, but you must pass the specialization test within five years of getting the RDMS certificate.
Employers, especially in hospitals or large clinics, also want to hire someone who has a Basic Life Support for healthcare providers certification from the American Heart Association. The course can be taken online or you can find a 4 and 1/2 hour class near you.
Ultrasound Technician Job Description
Ultrasound technicians, also sometimes called diagnostic medical sonographers, use high powered equipment to send different forms of sound waves through a person’s body in order to create an echo image for diagnostic purposes.
Unlike traditional x-rays and imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans, ultrasound does not use ionizing or radiation waves, so it is not deemed to be dangerous and, for that reason, is commonly used to view fetuses during pregnancy.
Although ultrasound technicians may be trained at reading the images they create, they are not typically allowed to make a diagnosis themselves, but simply provide the images for the doctor. Even when patients have questions, ultrasound technicians must be skilled at communicating in order to make their patients feel at ease so the images come out clearly, but without communicating anything that would make a patient jump to conclusions about a diagnosis.
Ultrasound techs can work in hospitals, including in emergency rooms, or they can work in clinical settings or outpatient care centers, examining a patient after a surgery for instance, or they can work in specialized offices such as a gynecologist’s office, or a children’s clinic.
Salary of an Ultrasound Technician
Below are approximated median annual salaries for ultrasound technicians in major metropolitan cities: