Training to Be an Ultrasound Technician? Check Out These Online Courses

Plenty of Americans make the choice to switch to a new career at some point.

Although this can be a scary change, it may be worth it if you’re happier and more productive in your new field.

Are you interested in changing your career path? Have you considered being an ultrasound technician?

To learn more about becoming an ultrasound technician, keep reading below.

What Is an Ultrasound Technician?

An ultrasound technician, also called an ultrasound tech, sonographer, or ultrasound technologist is a healthcare professional that helps doctors diagnose ailments in patients. 

Ultrasound technicians provide images that make it easier to figure out what is going on with a patient internally. Once they have this information, they will write up a report on what was noticed and give it to the doctor.

They are also responsible for prepping the room, caring for the equipment, keeping track of patients’ histories, and alerting staff of abnormalities. 

Ultrasound technicians may also help radiologists with biopsies if an ultrasound is needed as a guide. 

The median salary for this career is $74,320, but some professionals can make over $100,000 per year. The job outlook for this career is good with 17% growth expected over the next decade. 

Ultrasound technicians get to choose which area they specialize in, but some of them are more general and can work in almost any area with other general healthcare providers. 

Types of Sonographers

Not all ultrasound technicians have the exact same job. Because images of different parts of the body may be required by doctors, some sonographers are specialized in specific areas. 

These are the specific types of ultrasound technicians that you could be if you choose this career path.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a general ultrasound technician. They have the required education to help doctors find diagnoses in different parts of the body, depending on the specific case. 

Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonographer

This type of sonographer, also called echocardiographers, works with cardiac doctors specifically to find and diagnose heart concerns. 

The equipment used will show images of the heart and the heart’s chambers. This allows doctors to look at the structure of the heart to see if there is any determination and check the blood flow for blockages and clots.

Neurosonology Sonographer

Neurosonology sonographers are very specific in that they use neuroimaging to monitor blood flow and activity within vessels in the brain.

Neurosonography uses a special type of sonography machine as well called a transcranial doppler

Obstetric Sonographer

This type of sonographer is specialized in imaging fetuses in pregnant women. They will look specifically for any abnormalities or complications with the pregnancy.

Breast Sonographer

Breast imagining is generally done after a mammogram or exam comes back abnormal. A breast sonographer helps to find dark spots or lumps and cysts within the breast to assist the doctor with diagnosing the medical problem.

Musculoskeletal Sonographer

This type of sonographer will take images of many different structures, including:

  • Nerves
  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Joints

Usually, this is required when there has been a trauma or injury in the body, such as a sprained ankle or hernia. 

Abdominal Sonographer

This is another specialized type of sonographer that helps doctors look at organs in the abdominal area. They will look for tumors, abnormalities, stones, or damage in these organs.

Training Required to Become an Ultrasound Technician or Sonographer

You will first need to complete high school. After this, you will attend a program at a school for either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. 

Make sure you choose an accredited school for this program.

During your training, you’ll have to complete hands-on work in a clinical environment. You’ll also take courses in a variety of areas, including pharmacology, medical terminology, and anatomy. 

After you finish the program, you’ll have to become licensed within your state. These requirements vary depending on where you’re located.

It’s a good idea to also take the optional certification examination because healthcare facilities often will only hire individuals that have this certification. It helps you stand out as being someone that is professional and expert-like in the field. 

What Are Some Programs to Consider?

You can choose to either attend your program online or in-person. Both of these options have their own pros and cons that you’ll want to think about. 

If you want to find an in-person program, you may find that they are more involved and you have easier access to your professors. This can help you in the long run. 

With an online program, you can learn at your own pace. You can also still continue working at your regular job with an online program because you have a lot more flexibility with your schedule. 

Once you are working as a professional, you may need to continue getting credits to ensure you are up to date with the most recent best practices. 

Are you interested in getting some additional credits with an online ultrasound program? Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute is a great option for you to consider for ultrasound continuing medical education.

Are You Interested in Becoming an Ultrasound Technician?

Being an ultrasound technician can be a very rewarding job. Not only do you get to help doctors diagnose patients, but you get to work in the exciting healthcare industry. 

If you want to be an ultrasound technician, now is a great time to get started! 

Did you enjoy reading this article? If so, be sure to take some time to look at some of the other articles on our website. 

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