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How to Become an Ultrasound Tech: Your Complete Guide

Ultrasound Technician

August 25 2019 - Are you interested in becoming an ultrasound technician?

There are certain things that must be done for someone to be able to be a professional in this field. After all,  medical facilities don't just want untrained workers operating expensive medical equipment!

If you think that this field may be the right fit for you, check out these requirements to see how to become an ultrasound tech.

How to Become an Ultrasound Tech

An ultrasound technician uses technology that can examine organs in the body and developing fetuses.

These professionals play a very important role in helping doctors when they are diagnosing or treating medical ailments. It also is important for expecting mothers because it allows them to know the status of their fetus throughout pregnancy.

In order to become a professional in this field, there are certain things that must be done. An ultrasound technician is trained in using ultrasound technology and must know about human anatomy.

Find out more about what you need to do to become an ultrasound technician below.

Educational Requirements

The first thing that you must do is have a high school diploma or a GED. Without one of these, you will not be able to enroll in the important educational programs that teach you how to be an ultrasound technician.

It is important to focus on math, computer science, health, and life sciences while in school if you want to get a slight head start.

After you're done with high school, move on to an accredited program. Check out the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to see which programs are available that can help you find the best fit.

This program is going to help you get your associate's degree or give you the opportunity to complete a postgraduate certification.

These programs can be one year or longer. The most popular option is the two-year program because it will generally award you with an associate's degree upon completion.

Another option is to choose a four-year program to get a bachelor's degree.

The most important thing to note when choosing a program is that shorter programs, such as six months, will not be able to properly prepare you. In addition to this, you won't look as desirable to potential hires in the future.

Additional Educational Opportunities

If you happen to already have a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree, you may want to take a different route. A diploma program might be the best option for you to choose.

Each program will have its own specific requirements. The degree you already have may or may not need to be in a related field, so be sure to check this before you start to apply.

A diploma program is going to add diagnostic medical sonography to your skillset, which is something that you absolutely will need to be able to become certified in the field.

Just as with the more traditional route, you need to find a diploma program that is CAAHEP accredited. The program will generally take anywhere between 8 months to 18 months for you to complete with background education.

If you are interested in getting a master's degree, you will want to get it in diagnostic medical sonography. This can give you plenty of new options for your future career. For instance, moving up into administration, researching about the topic, or even teaching are options with this degree.

After you find a CAAHEP accredited program, you will need to make sure it offers clinical training to ensure you get the experience you need. This additional degree will take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete.

Clinical Training

As with any type of medical job, you want to ensure you have the experience to be able to actually do the job. Clinical training is important because it gives you the opportunity to practice the skills you are learning and see where you can improve.

When you are in a program, you will likely have the opportunity to complete internships and other field experiences. You'll learn how to actually do things with the skills you learn about.

In addition to these experiences, you can attend professional conferences and complete other educational opportunities outside of your schooling.

Consider taking ultrasound CME (continuing medical education) courses to stay up to date with new tech developments and procedures.

Getting Certified

In order to become certified, you have the take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) examinations.

These are not technically required for you to work in the field, but they will make you much more marketable and will show others that you know what you are doing.

When you are a certified ultrasound technician, you are going to be able to make more money, have more job opportunities, and be better at your job.

The examinations for this certification will include physics and a sub-specialty. You get to choose the sub-specialty you want to specialize in. In fact, you can take the exams several times to specialize in different fields.

Are You Ready to Become an Ultrasound Technician?

Being an ultrasound technician is an important job.

You help many people with their medical ailments by providing insight into the problem. You also can ease the worries of expectant mothers!

Now that you know how to become an ultrasound tech, you should start planning! Figure out what type of education you still need and how you will be able to obtain it in a timely manner.

To learn more about working in this field, check out our website to learn about jobs in healthcare.

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