The primary duties of an ultrasound technician involve operating medical imaging technology and equipment in order to create images or conduct tests which assist physicians in diagnosing medical conditions. Their responsibilities may include preparing patients for procedures by taking medical history and answering questions, maintaining and operating diagnostic imaging equipment, reviewing and analyzing diagnostic imaging results, and recording findings.
Arkansas Ultrasound Technician Schools
Below is a list of Arkansas schools that offer sonography programs aimed at prospective ultrasound technicians. A brief overview of the campus history as well as other facts about the school are also included.
- Arkansas State University-Main Campus: A public university founded in 1909, Arkansas State University enrolls over 13,000 students annually and boasts 160 different fields of study. It is a doctoral-level institution and the second largest university in Arkansas.
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a post-secondary institution that was founded by eight physicians in 1879 and is the only academic health center in Arkansas. It has over 3000 students and is ranked in the top 20 percent of U.S. colleges and universities for research funding from the federal government.
What to Expect from Arkansas Sonography Programs
Individuals enrolled in a sonography degree program can expect to take courses in anatomy, medical terminology, applied sciences, and ultrasound technology. Coursework is typically determined by the desired specialty chosen early on, which can range from cardiovascular or vascular sonography to abdominal or breast sonography. Each program will likely include more specialized classes catered to its specific focus.
Sonography professionals can be broken down into three specialization categories:
- Diagnostic medical sonographers
- Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
- Vascular technologists/sonographers
Diagnostic medical sonographers include abdominal, breast, musculoskeletal, pediatric, and obstetric and gynecologic sonographers. Cardiovascular technologists include cardiac sonographers, cardiovascular invasive specialists or cardiac catheterization technologists, and cardiographic or electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians.
Not matter the specialization, programs typically require hands-on clinical components in which candidates work under experienced sonographers in a hospital, physician's office, or imaging laboratory, all while earning institutional credit. Some schools also offer students the opportunity to intern at a local health care facility.
Arkansas Ultrasound Technician Licensing and Certification
Although the state of Arkansas does not legally require ultrasound technicians to be formally licensed, certification is a crucial aspect for those looking to begin a career in the field. Many employers prefer hiring professionally certified diagnostic imaging employees, partly due to the fact that most insurance companies and Medicare only cover procedures conducted by certified technicians. Certification is national and is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
In order to gain certification, candidates must graduate from an accredited training program and pass an exam. Many employers prefer to hire graduates of sonography schools that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
There are a wide variety of specialties for which sonographers can gain certification, such as cardiovascular sonography or vascular sonography, both of which are offered by CCI. Certification for diagnostic medical sonography with concentrations in fields like abdomen, breast, or pediatric sonography, as well as cardiovascular or vascular sonography, are offered by the ARDMS. Most sonographers have certification in at least one of these specialties, but many earn multiple certifications in different focus areas.
Resources for Ultrasound Technicians in Arkansas