An ultrasound technician is a medical professional who uses an instrument called a transducer to transmit high frequency sound waves into a patient's body to create images of internal organs, tissues, blood vessels, and other structures. Ultrasound imaging is one of the fastest-growing fields in medical diagnostic technology. In conjunction with other diagnostic techniques such as radiology and magnetic imaging, ultrasound can help provide physicians with the accurate diagnosis of many medical conditions. Long associated with pregnancy, ultrasound is now being used not only for imaging, but also for therapeutic treatment and prevention of certain medical conditions.
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- Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
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How to Prepare for a Career as an Ultrasound Technician
It is important to get the proper education for an ultrasound technician career. If you decide to pursue an ultrasound technician degree, you need to consider a number of things. First, determine if you want a two-year associate's degree, a four-year bachelor's degree, or a technical institute certificate. Second, make sure that the ultrasound technician program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), or another accrediting body. Third, consider the specifics of the program; is it more technologically or more practically oriented? How much actual supervised clinical experience is included? Fourth, determine the cost and whether financial aid programs are available. And finally, ask about the success of program graduates in achieving certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
The employment outlook for a diagnostic medical ultrasound technologist is excellent, with the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) projecting an 18 percent by 2018. The annual salary for an ultrasound technologist ranges from a low of $43,600 to a high of $83,950.