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Ultrasound equipment is one of the most important tools physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals use to assess and diagnose patients. Many schools and universities offer an ultrasound technician program, sometimes referred to as diagnostic medical sonography, as one of their allied health care career paths. Medical technology is rapidly developing and sonography is one of the focused areas of technological development. Smaller and more effective devices are constantly being designed. Ultrasound technician courses prepare students to operate and understand sonography equipment and provide direct patient care. With the future of ultrasound tech jobs looking positive, this may be the career for you.
Ultrasound Technician Courses & Curriculum
Ultrasound technician training programs are typically a 2-year program, or an associate’s degree. Ultrasound technician courses are grouped into five major categories: using sonography equipment, patient care, physiology & anatomy, math & physics, and a clinical practicum. A example of the curriculum one may encounter when taking an ultrasound tech training program would be:
- Introduction to Sonography
- Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation
- Abdominal Scanning and Pathology
- Abdominal Directed Practice
- Superficial & Small Parts Scanning
- OB/GYN Scanning & Pathology
- OB/GYN Directed Practice
- Vascular Scanning
- Vascular & Small Parts DP
- Sonography Interpretation
- Integrative Study in Sonography
- Advanced Directed Practice
An associate’s degree generally requires 55 units of coursework, which most students can complete with two years as a full time student. Part time students may take longer to complete.
Ultrasound Technician Responsibilities
The main role of the ultrasound technician is to operate the ultrasound equipment and assist patients during an examination. Ultrasound technician courses will provide students with the knowledge necessary to perform these activities with a high degree of accuracy.
Ultrasound Technician Job Outlook
Many students worry that once they complete their training, they will not be able to find a job. That is why becoming an ultrasound technician is such a great career choice. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, ultrasound technician career opportunities will grow 44% between 2010 and 2020, much faster than other occupations.