Becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, also known as an ultrasound technician or ultrasound image technician, is part of the diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) profession, an industry that is rapidly growing across the country.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase 26 percent from 2014 – 2024. This is must faster than the average for most occupations. The massive demand for ultrasound technicians is partly because of the aging baby boom population who will need more medical assistance, and because DMS is becoming a more common method used to assist in diagnosing medical conditions since it is less invasive than other procedures.
If you are thinking about becoming an ultrasound technician, look no further than Florida National University (FNU). Founded in 1982, FNU has two campus locations in Miami and Hialeah and is a regionally accredited university to offer an Associates of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology. The DMS program at FNU trains students how to create and interpret sonographic images and ultrasound procedures in both clinical and medical care settings. Working as an ultrasound technologist requires demanding work hours and at FNU you will get the training you need to excel in your career and to work well with both patients and physicians and radiologists.
What is an Ultrasound Technician?
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a branch of diagnostic medical imaging that uses non-ionizing ultrasound to produce 2D and 3D images of the human body. As a Certified Ultrasound Technician, you’ll be able to conduct ultrasound procedures on the abdomen, pelvis, appendages and other small parts. Sonographers are medical professionals who conduct scans that are then interpreted by radiologists, cardiologists in cardiac ultrasonography and physicians who specialize in medical imaging modalities.
The most common place for diagnostic medical sonographers to work is in hospitals, while some also work in imaging clinics and physicians’ offices. DMS is used in many different fields and applications in the healthcare industry, including gynecology, cardiology, gastroenterology and colorectal surgery, cardiovascular system, obstetrics, musculoskeletal concerns, urology, otolaryngology, pulmonology, anesthesiology, head and neck surgery, neurology, emergency medicine, neonatology and ophthalmology. Ultrasound technicians are vital because they determine the next step to a patient’s medical treatment. The images they take are passed to physicians, which give them the information they need to assess and diagnose the patient accurately. Though an ultrasound technician captures the images, he or she does not have the authority to interpret them to the patient. This task is designated to the radiologist, cardiologist or another specialist.
FNU’s Associates of Science- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology
The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMST) program at FNU is a two-year program that is designed to teach students how to accurately perform ultrasound procedures. While enrolled in the program, students will conduct ultrasound procedures in the pelvis and abdomen. The student training will also cover pelvis, appendages, and abdomen, as well as fetal and obstetrical evaluations.
Throughout the 32-month program, students will be required to conduct 800 hours of clinical practice. A significant portion of the training will be given to fetal and obstetrical evaluations, and also abdomen and pelvis. A minimum of 87 credits is required for graduation. Students will need 23 credit hours of Humanities, Natural Science, Communications, Mathematics, and Computers to complete the general education requirements. The remaining 64 credits will be dedicated to the fundamentals of diagnostic sonography. It is important to note that some students may be required to enroll in prerequisite courses before enrolling in the English Composition and College Algebra I courses.
What is Expected of Students Who Enroll in FNU’s DMST Program?
Most of the substantial requirements will fall under Natural Science courses, and students are required to understand Human Biology and General Physics while the core classes will include intensive studies on anatomy. Students will also be given in-depth studies on the different kinds of ultrasound procedures. For example, the following list the types of classes that students can expect to take:
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Artifacts in Ultrasound
- Clinical Practicum in Ultrasound
- Journal in Ultrasound
- Obstetrics/Gynecology Ultrasound
- Small Parts Ultrasound
After completing all of the program requirements, students will be awarded an associate’s degree and you’ll be eligible to pass the nationally certified exam given by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The AS program is not designed to transfer to a higher learning institution. If you have plans to further your education after the AS program, you should consult with an FNU advisor to help map out the academic path that is right for you.
Enroll in FNU’s Leading Ultrasound Technician Program Today
At FNU, we are dedicated to the success of our students. This is why we offer an array of educational programs that are designed to be completed in a short period. Our 16-week semesters are designed to be broken down into two, 8-week terms and can be taken year-round. We understand how busy our students are, which is why we offer a number of our programs entirely online.
If you are interested in enrolling in FNU’s Associates of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology, you can view the program details here. You can also make an appointment with one of our academic advisors today. Start your career as an ultrasound technician today by earning your associate’s degree with FNU. You’ll be on your way to a rewarding career in a rapidly growing industry that is in high employment demand along with a significant earning potential. Contact FNU today!