Ultrasound Technician Training, Education and other Basic Requirements
Maybe you enjoy working with computers and have a keen eye for details. Perhaps you want a career that offers more responsibilities and rewards. You might even be considering a variety of other career choices that are totally unrelated to the health industry.
If you want to change your life and join the health care industry you can learn the skills and begin earning good pay as an ultrasound technologist.
Why should you take the time to explore ultrasound job opportunities?
For starters, this is a job field that you can pursue with online courses. There are a number of schools that now offer quality education for those interested in becoming ultrasound techs.
What Schooling Is Required for Ultrasound Technician?
You can also enroll in a course offered by your local community college. Courses generally require between 1-4 years to be completed. The institution must be one that has received national accreditation or you will not be eligible to apply for certification/licensing.
Many students are discovering that the schedules offered by online schools are more flexible. This flexibility allows you to keep your present job while you are training for a new position. No matter which education avenue you choose you will be able to begin working toward that bright future that you have always dreamed about.
Paid annual vacations
Health insurance packages
These are only a few of the perks that most ultrasound technologists are now being offered. Hospitals will also grant you benefits such as paid personal leave; paid training and reimbursement for future college courses that are related to your job.
Interested? Then it is time for you to find out what it takes to become a certified ultrasound technician.
Ultrasound Tech Education Requirements
If you want to become an ultrasound tech you must first complete your high school education. You will also need to have some college courses under your belt. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age and be able to state why they want to pursue this type of education and training. Be sure that you check with the school and ask about the prerequisites for acceptance into their ultrasound training program.
Prerequisites for Ultrasound Technician School
First you need to know if you meet the basic ultrasound technician requirements for acceptance and enrollment into one of the schools that provides this type of training and education. These programs can last from 1-4 years in length. It depends largely on your choice of technical training and whether or not you can satisfy the prerequisites for the program. Individuals who have prior training/experience in a related health care field can qualify for enrollment in a 1 year certificate program.
If you do not yet meet these requirements it is possible to find schools that allow you to enroll in the courses that you need. Then you can submit an application for direct admittance into the school’s Ultrasound Tech program.
Ultrasound Technician Course Requirements
You must have earned an AD or a BA/BS prior to applying for this type of training. It is also important to have a good command of the English language. Organizational skills and logical thinking are helpful attributes to possess, but you can develop these talents during your time as a student.
Ultrasound Technician Class Requirements
Students must have completed the following courses:
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Communication or Speech
You will also be required to pass a drug screen/background check. Pertinent immunizations must be updated. All students must have documentation of a recent TB screening showing negative results.
Ultrasound Technician Training Requirements
Prospective applicants must have the ability to lift (or move) 50 pounds. You should demonstrate the ability to bend and stoop on a regular basis. Technologists must be able to use their wrists, shoulders and hands.
Proper color vision and normal eyesight are necessary. You must prove that you can identify and interpret the images that you are obtaining.
Remember that this job can be both stressful and physically demanding. There will be many hours when you will be expected to remain standing on your feet.
Ultrasound Technician Job Requirements
Most jobs are found in hospitals or outpatient clinics. Ultrasound techs are also being hired by private physician practices. There are a variety of positions available within these work settings. Dimly lit rooms are part of the normal work environments that ultrasound technicians must handle on a daily basis.
Technicians in the sonography department are expected to function independently as well as display the ability to be “a team member.” You could be asked to help clean and organize your department, assist with patient care, transport patients or perform checks and routine maintenance on the equipment that you use.
Although many techs will enjoy working regular shifts during the day there are some jobs that require you to work during the evening or night. The work schedules will also involve assigning “on call” hours to ultrasound technicians. This means that you must be prepared to come in and perform these diagnostic scans if an emergency arises and your services are needed.
Techs could work either 8 or 12 hour shifts during the week. There may be holiday or weekend shifts that you will be expected to cover. Even though most procedures are scheduled from (8-5) there are always going to be other times when a tech is needed to perform an ultrasound scan.
You must be flexible, personable and able to interact professionally with co-workers, supervisors, patients and family members. It is necessary for ultrasound technicians to remain courteous even in the most trying and stressful situations.
Your studies will be focused on the interpretation of the images and pictures that are developed through the use of ultrasound procedures. Other supportive courses will be integrated into your curriculum. You will have clinical practice that gives you actual “hands-on” experience working in a medical setting. This will help you gain familiarity and knowledge about the procedures and equipment that you will soon be involved with on a daily basis.
On the Job Training
Much of your job training will be performed with a mentor. This mentor will be an experienced and certified ultrasound tech. The length of your training period will depend upon how quickly you master the necessary skills and demonstrate proficiency at this job.
Requirements for Ultrasound Technician Certification
All ultrasound techs must receive certification. Your school generally helps you learn how to obtain the required certification while you are still enrolled as a student. You cannot become certified until after you graduate.
It is also possible to apply for certification through a professional association. You can even contact the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography if you need to become certified for this job. There are now competency requirements that must be demonstrated by individuals who want to get their sonography certification.
You should not have any felonies, arrests or misdemeanors on your record. Traffic tickets can be excluded. If there are any issues in your background you will have the opportunity to discuss and explain your personal situation.
When you are awarded certification it means that you have met the professional standards required by this job. Your education as an ultrasound technician must be completed at an accredited institution, and application for certification must be done no later than 3 years from the date of your graduation.
New License Requirements Implemented
Recently a few states have implemented license requirements for ultrasound techs. In New Mexico, W. Virginia, NJ and Oregon there are state licensing boards (for the sonography profession) that have either been proposed or established.
As a licensed health care professional you will be able to prove that you meet the educational, moral and personal standards that have been established for ultrasound technicians. The sonographer requirement for a license is similar to the requirements for certification. The major difference is that the licensing procedure is more thorough and must be renewed either annually or bi-annually. Licensed professionals will be expected to update their skills and education on a regular basis.
Moving Up and Branching Out
As an ultrasound technician you have many opportunities to move up the career ladder. You can apply for jobs in administration or management. You may want to become a supervisor in a hospital sonography department. You can even focus on one of the specialty fields that involve diagnostic imaging. Some students want to use this job as a stepping stone to a career in a related health care field.
The sky is the limit for you once you set out on this journey. Why not explore these possibilities and benefits today? Schools and training programs already have a waiting list of interested students and you do not want to pass up the opportunity to create a better future for yourself.