Sonography is synonymous with 3D images of the fetus, but in reality, it is a highly skilled and specialized group of individuals within the imaging profession. Sonographers are highly trained individuals which must have a solid, diverse education.
Sonography today is part of a mainstream in diagnostic testing within the healthcare profession as part of the imaging sciences. It is widely used today by physicians and physical therapists because it is a non-invasive, affordable, accessible imaging modality. Ultrasound is also used in other applications outside healthcare, for example: veterinary medicine.
Ultrasound technologists are able to perform a variety of procedures based on their specialties for example: Musculoskeletal sonographers perform sonographic procedures imaging and evaluating groups of muscles, joints, tendons, and nerves.
Abdominal sonographers obtain images to assess the abdominal and pelvic organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and small parts)
Vascular Technologist (Sonographers) focused on the arterial and venous system and perform not only imaging exams but also physiologic testing.
Other specialties within the sonography profession include:
-Adult cardiac sonographers.
-Pediatric cardiac sonographer.
Sonographers are in demand not only in the hospital setting but also in diagnostic imaging centers, HMO’s, private physicians’ offices and mobile diagnostic services. Imaging centers continue to expand services using ultrasound causing and increase demand for these highly trained professionals. As a result, most imaging facilities have shown an increase in ultrasound imaging services in the past 10 years and apparently leading the need for more trained sonographers.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the “employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to grow 26% from 2014 – 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This is also due to the baby booming population who is aging and in need of more healthcare services.
What’s Expected of the Ultrasound Technologist
Working as an ultrasound technologist may require some demanding hours depending on what kind of healthcare facility you work in.
As aforementioned, hiring healthcare administrators are looking for skilled sonographers who have received formal training allowing them to perform the required ultrasound studies while maintain patient care standards.
How to ensure a job as an Ultrasound Technologist?
Acquiring an Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology degree from Florida National University (FNU) is going to be the first step in starting your career as a professional ultrasound technologist. Students enrolled in this program will need to complete a minimum of 87 credit hours that will take approximately 32 months to complete. FNU students can expect to pay roughly $45,675 in tuition and fees. Book supplies are expected to cost around $2,000.
General education courses will include English, Speech, Math, and Computer Technology. There will be a heavy requirement of Natural Science courses as students will need to understand General Physics and Human Biology. However, the core courses will include intensive studies on anatomy in general, but will also go in depth about different kinds of ultrasound procedures.
For instance, these are the type of classes students can expect to take:
- Physics in Ultrasound
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Artifacts in Ultrasound
- Obstetrics/Gynecology Ultrasound
- Small Parts Ultrasound
- Clinical Practicum in Ultrasound
- Journal in Ultrasound
With this associate’s degree, your resume will be applicable to any healthcare facility. Furthermore, under the FNU Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology degree program, students will also be required to perform ultrasound procedures on the abdomen, pelvis, small parts, obstetrics and gynecology, giving them the training and experience needed to be a viable candidate for an entry level employment. Students will gain clinical experience by participating in 800 hours of clinical rotations, but they will need to get liability insurance first.
NOTE: After successfully completing all of the requirements, students will be awarded an associate’s degree and will be eligible to take the ARRT ultrasound registry.
This degree program has prerequisites, so it’s highly recommended to consult an advisor to get the best type of guidance. This will prevent you from taking courses that you’re not academically prepared for. Enrolling in classes that are too advanced may result in possibly a failed grade, withdrawing, a drop in your GPA, and overall, a waste of time.
Note: If you’re interested in enrolling in the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology degree program, you’ll also need to dress for the part. All FNU medical students are required to wear medical attire at all times and are responsible for supplying their own uniforms.
Start your career as an ultrasound technician today by earning your associate’s degree with FNU here.