How to Become an Ultrasound Technician: Instructions

An ultrasound technician is the person who performs ultrasound procedures, scans the patient, develops an ultrasound image and assists the doctor in the diagnosis of disease or illness. An ultrasound technician plays an important role in the whole medical process.  To become an ultrasound technician, one first needs to pass high school, and preferably with good school grades, if one aspires to admission to a high quality training school. Then, there are two steps one needs to follow to become an ultrasound technician.

Take an ultrasound technician course

In general, training programs usually last from one to four years. Associate degrees usually take two years, but you can complete it sooner if you have a college diploma. Bachelor degrees require four years to complete. Some specializations can take a longer course of time, according to the level of training you require. You are strongly advised not to join a compressed course of six or eight weeks duration, as they are of no use and don’t prepare you for entry into the workforce. The requirement to complete a certificate or degree is one of the most important facts you will need when selecting a training course. An ultrasound technician will need to demonstrate knowledge in the following subjects: mathematics, anatomy, physiology and physics. You will discover a range of training programs offered at vocational institutes, community colleges and some universities offering a range of ultrasound technician courses.

You should conduct thorough research before you commit to join a training program.  As a minimum, you need to learn about the profession and its job prospects, and also about the college or school that best meets your needs. Compare different colleges and their course offerings. When you enroll in a college, make sure it is an accredited one. Usually, accredited ultrasound technician schools have a very competitive acceptance and admission process. There is a chance that you might be placed on a waiting list of up to two years. But don’t panic and don’t compromise your education choices by joining an unaccredited institution. A degree from an accredited organization is preferred by many employers, hence it is safer to choose an accredited school if possible. Accreditation is also proof that the school has certain merits that are required in a quality training program. For example, a quality training program will provide you with ample opportunity for clinical practice during your college training. It is strongly advised to choose a training program which has intensive practical training along with traditional lectures in the classroom.

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The most important part of your education to become an ultrasound technician is your attitude towards your study, your willingness to learn new skills and to demonstrate commitment to meeting the appropriate standards required by employers. Nothing else is more important than your own efforts. Focus equally on the theoretical class work and the practical laboratory work. After graduating, choose a quality externship placement and spend enough time with the externship program so that it is easier for you find a good job.

Pass the certification exams

After you graduate, you will have to pass the certification exams. Though it is not legally compulsory to take the certification exams, you will have better chances of employment once you get your certification. Most employers prefer to select certified ultrasound technicians. Hence, we advise you to take this exam as soon as you graduate, as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the institution responsible for the certification of ultrasound technicians.

An ultrasound technician has exciting job prospects and the employment opportunities are likely to increase in the future, and there is so much potential for growth in the medical profession. If you want to become a good ultrasound technician then just the initial training is not enough. You will have to take training throughout your career to keep yourself updated with the latest technologies and methodologies. You should also go to different conventions, workshops and seminars. Develop your skills in one particular specialization. Follow the above instructions enthusiastically, and you will not only make a good ultrasound technician but a great ultrasound technician!

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