There are several ways to go about becoming an ultrasound technician. One of the more popular ways includes taking part in an ultrasound technician certification program. This type of program is available to those who have no prior training in ultrasound technology; however, most program directors do prefer for enrolled students to have some type of prior experience. Taking part in a certification program is especially advantageous to those students who want to specialize in a particular sonography field, such as vascular or abdomen. For those that do not prefer a certain specialty, there are certification programs available that are more broad.
Certification Prerequisite Requirements
The exact prerequisites that a student will need to meet to enroll in an ultrasound technician program will be decided upon by the school in which the student is taking courses through. Many times, the prerequisites will mandate that a student have at least an associate’s degree in some type of healthcare-related subject. In addition, students may have to complete certain college-level courses, including chemistry, medical terminology, physiology, healthcare ethics and more. Some schools may even require students to take part in an internship at an approved clinical facility before enrolling in a certification program.
No matter the type of ultrasound technician certification program that at student enrolls in, most will include coursework covering the following basic topics:
- Sectional anatomy
- Abdominal sonography
- Ultrasound physics
- Cardiovascular sonography
Information on Certification
There are various forms of certification that ultrasound technicians can obtain. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography makes available different credentials for those who have completed specialty certification programs. One such credential is known as the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, which is available to those who specialize in gynecology, abdomen, neurosonology, breast, obstetrics or fetal echocardiography. Also for those specializing in echocardiography comes the option to obtain the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer certification. Each type of certification must be earned by completing an ultrasound technician certification program as well as by passing certain exams.
How Long are the Certification Programs?
To become a certified ultrasound technician, a person should expect to complete at least two years of studies at an accredited college, vocational school or university. In addition, he or she may have to take part in an internship which can last anywhere from several weeks to six months or more; however, the internship can usually be taken part in during the course of time that the student is finishing his or her educational studies.