Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Career
What's Involved in a Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Career?
Sonography has become a popular alternative to radiologic procedures, creating an expected employment growth for this developing healthcare career. The majority of diagnostic medical ultrasound technicians work in hospitals, with the rest divided among physicians' offices, laboratories, and mobile imaging services.
An ultrasound consists of directing high frequency sound waves into the relevant area of the patient's body, which then creates an image for the physician to interpret. You need to know how to explain the procedure to the patient, take a medical history, use the necessary equipment, and do a preliminary analysis of the results.
What Education Is Required?
Completing an accredited program and obtaining certification typically leads to the best job prospects. Hospitals, vocational-technical institutions, universities, and the army all offer training programs, but not all are accredited.
2-year and 4-year programs exist, granting an associate and bachelor's degree, respectively. Most students seeking a diagnostic medical ultrasound career opt for the 2-year program. Courses include:
If you already work in healthcare, a 1-year program in sonography may suffice, although these programs are not accredited.
- Basic physics
- Medical ethics
- Patient care
Many diagnostic medical ultrasound technicians specialize in a certain area of the body:
A license is not required, but you can apply for voluntary credentialing.
- Abdominal sonography (includes the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas)
- Breast sonography
- Cardiac sonography (the heart)
- Neurosonography (the brain)
- Obstetric and gynecologic sonography (the female reproductive system and pregnancy)
- Vascular sonography (the circulatory system)
The Following Schools Provide Educational Programs For Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Careers: