Ultrasonography Schools and Classes
Ultrasonography is the use of sound waves to create images of the body's internal structures. Get information on the training you'll need to enter this profession, and learn about required courses and options for specialization.
What You Need to Know
Students interested in becoming diagnostic medical sonographers need to complete an approved postsecondary program. Certificates and associate's degrees are most common, and they typically include both lecture courses and hands-on experiences. Many programs prepare students for professional certifications.
|Classes||Algebra, atomic and molecular physics, medical terminology, human anatomy, radiographic physics, and laboratory work|
|Training||Hospital or vocational training programs; post-secondary certificate and degree programs|
|Certification||Sometimes required by employers; applicants need to complete an approved program|
What is Ultrasonography?
Ultrasonography, also known as ultrasound or sonography, is the use of sound waves utilizing specialized equipment to compute images of internal tissues of the body. The sound waves are used at a frequency that allows them to reflect through the body in a noninvasive manner. This reflection is then re-computed onto a screen, where an image of internal tissue can be seen by the sonographer and printed for a physician. Many sonographers use ultrasonography for a number of different health assessments and diagnostics, such as heart or reproductive issues, as well as determining the health of a patient's neurological system.
What Schooling Is Needed?
Typically, you can follow several training routes to become a sonographer. Hospital or vocational training programs are available, as well as postsecondary certificate and degree programs. To ensure you're getting adequate training, you should look for degree programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which sets training standards. You might want to consider these schools:
- Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
- Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts (San Mateo, CA)
- University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)
- Pima Medical Institute (Multiple locations)
- Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (Lancaster, PA)
What About Certification Requirements?
Certification might not be required by your state or employer. However, if you wish to earn certification, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) requires that you hold an associate's degree or certificate from a sonography training program.
What Classes Can I Take?
The curricula of ultrasonography associate's degree programs offer a combination of general education requirements and specific courses that train you in ultrasonography and potential specialized fields. Some programs offer general ultrasonography training, while others allow you to focus your education on a particular area of the body. Within a college program, you'll not only have the chance to work on equipment in a lab setting, but many programs include clinical rotations that allow you to experience working under the supervision of trained medical professionals.
- Abdominal sonography
- Ultrasound physics
- Human anatomy
- Medical terminology
- Patient care methods
- Ethics in health sciences