Ultrasound technicians have become one of the fastest growing jobs in the medical field. As part of their job duties, ultrasound technicians use special equipment to take images of a personâ€™s body to help physicians view certain organs or to diagnose certain medical issues. In this career, technicians often specialize in a certain medical area such as gynecology or echocardiography. Most ultrasound technicians work in medical settings such as hospitals, clinics and private doctorsâ€™ offices. Here are the steps you need to take to become an ultrasound technician.
Obtain a High School Diploma
Before you can apply for an ultrasound technology program, many programs will require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent. While in high school, you should take courses in math, biology and technology that will help prepare you for your college level courses. You should also look into taking courses in communication and English since you will be required to write reports on your findings in this field and talk with patients to explain the procedure.
Attend an Accredited Program
Once you graduate from high school, you should apply for enrollment in an ultrasound technology program. Most colleges offer associateâ€™s and/or bachelorâ€™s degrees in diagnostic medical sonography that include courses in medical technology, human anatomy, sonography equipment, and science. As part of the program, you may be required to complete a clinical internship at a local hospital or clinic as well. The key thing to remember is that you should look for a program is CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) accredited.
Take the ARDMS Certification Exam
Most states do not require ultrasound technicians to obtain a state license. However, it may be wise to take the certification exam offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in order to better your chances of finding employment. The exam is a two-part exam, which covers physics and instrumentation. Many employers prefer to hire only registered ultrasound technicians to work in their facilities.
Apply for a Job
There are several job opportunities available in this career field if you have the right education and certification. You should begin applying for jobs as an ultrasound technician at hospitals, doctorsâ€™ offices or clinic facilities in your area. If you completed a clinical internship during your educational program, you should contact the head of the department to see if there are any current openings in their department.