The Ultrasound Technician

Everyone knows about x-rays that are used to diagnose the internal workings of the human body but there is another aspect to this that makes for just as rewarding of a career. It is the career of the ultrasound technician. Sonography is the science that uses sound waves and their echoes to depict the figures that are beneath a surface. It is used similar to x-rays to diagnose the progression of certain diseases, the status of a fetus, and any other location in the human body where a doctor needs to see what is going on.

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Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

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Programs:

  • Medical Assisting Basic X-ray Technician
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Medical Assisting with Basic X-Ray Operation

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.


What sets ECPI University apart? Just ask the employers who hire our graduates. Since 1966, more than 3,800 employers have looked to ECPI for talented professionals who are capable of entering the workplace and doing the job right on the very first day. That’s because our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of today’s highly-specialized job market.

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Programs:

  • Medical Radiography - Associate's
Locations: Newport NewsManassas

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

 

Programs:

  • Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Concentration in General and Vascular Sonography
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Pursue your education with American College for Medical Careers. We offer degree and diploma programs in the allied health field at our campus in Orlando, Florida.

Programs:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
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Advance your career with American Institute - Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Our program can be completed in as little as 16 months. We offer program specializations in general or cardiac sonography, both of which include vascular ultrasound training.

Programs:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (General Concentration)
Turn Your Passion Into A Career with Platt!
 
At Platt College, we encourage our students to follow their passions, wherever they may lie, to find a career they love. You’ll find a supportive learning environment and career-focused training designed to help you gain the knowledge and hands-on training you need to succeed. 

Programs:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Locations: Riverside

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
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Locations: AshevilleKnoxvilleNashville

Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment. As a student at Southern Technical College, you will have the opportunity learn in several different ways.

Programs:

  • A.S. - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Locations: Tampa
Harris School of Business offers career-focused education that gives you the skills you need to make the leap into your new career.

Programs:

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Programs:

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At a Glance

Ultrasound Technician ProgramsOther Job Titles: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Ultrasound Technologist, Ultrasonographer
Salary Range: $44,000-$88,000; Median $64,000
Education/Training Required: Two-year or four-year degree from an accredited trade/vocational school or university
Desired Skills/Aptitude: attention to detail; technically oriented; communication skills
Certification/Licensing:
certification preferred by employers; licensing requirements vary by state
Locations with Best Opportunities:
Massachusetts, California, Florida, Oregon
Employment Outlook:
44% growth through 2020 (faster than usual)
Opportunities for Advancement:
Continued education to enter other medical fields such as registered nursing; advancement to supervisory or managerial roles

What an Ultrasound Technician Does

The ultrasound technician assists a physician in diagnosing the internal condition of a patient. The most common application of ultrasonography is in pregnancies where the fetus needs to be seen. This cannot be done with traditional x-rays because it might cause harm to the fetus. An ultrasound technician works under the direction of a physician.

The duties of an ultrasound technician can be categorized as follows:

  • Preparation/maintenance of ultrasound equipment
  • Patient record keeping
  • Patient preparation/handling
  • Quality control
  • Limited analysis

An ultrasound technician must not only know how to prepare sonography equipment for a patient but maintain it as well. This includes making adjustments for the best image results.

Patient record keeping is part of the job as well. A technician will record details pertaining to the imaging session that can be used throughout a patient’s case.

Part of the preparation that must be done before an imaging session takes place is to scrub the area that will be analyzed on the patient. Then, a special gel is applied to the area that will be examined that aids in the transmission of sound waves. An ultrasound technician must perform these tasks in addition to adjusting the patient or helping put the patient on the table.

Quality control is of utmost importance in ultrasonography. Without image quality, a physician cannot make the best determination as to the patient’s condition. Thus the ultrasound technician must be able to analyze images and re-take if deemed necessary.

It is important to understand that an ultrasound technician is not a physician and is legally and ethically prohibited from making a diagnosis as to a patient’s condition. However, a technician is trained is to do limited analysis of images to determine if further examination must be performed. Plus, a technician must be able to identify the differences between what is normal in an internal region and what is abnormal so that further examination can be performed. This person must also be able to detail all findings for the case physician.

The Workplace of an Ultrasound Technician

Ultrasound technicians typically work in the following facilities:

  • Doctor’s offices
  • Diagnostic laboratories
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient medical care centers

Furthermore, a technician can be called upon to perform an examination at a patient’s bedside using mobile sonography equipment.

Education and Certification

To work in this field, a person must have formal post-secondary education. This is usually through an accredited associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. These programs teach subjects such as taking sonographic images of certain regions in the body and interpreting those images.

Certification exams are taken after training is completed and are specialized. Licensing requirements vary by state.