Often referred to as ultrasound technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers operate specialized sonography equipment to produce and record images that physicians use in the diagnosis of medical problems. These professionals must be trained to properly operate the sonography equipment in order to produce the best possible images. They also need to be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal sonographic patterns. Ultrasound technicians work to provide imagery in many different medical specialty areas, including obstetrics, cardiology, vascular medicine, and more.
Kentucky Ultrasound Technician Schools
Students in Kentucky have several options when it comes to pursuing a formal education in diagnostic medical sonography. Here are five schools that offer training programs in the field:
- West Kentucky Community and Technical College: The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at WKCTC awards graduates with an Associate degree, and typically takes at least four semesters to complete. Graduates are eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification exams with specialties in Abdomen, Obstetrics/Gynecology, or Vascular Sonography.
- Hazard Community and Technical College: The program at HCTC offers an Associate degree in either General Sonography or General/Vascular Sonography.
- Morehead State University: Morehead State offers a Bachelor's in Diagnostic Medical Sonography that's only open to radiographers who are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or who are eligible to be registered. The program lasts 13 months, and qualifies graduates to sit for the ARDMS certification exams.
- Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College: The DMS program at Southcentral Kentucky CTC culminates in an Associate degree. The focus of the program is to prepare students for the Abdomen and Obstetrics/Gynecology ARDMS certification exams.
- St. Catharine College: The Sonography program at St. Catharine College offers an Associate degree option with a choice of three different specialty tracks. Participants can specialize in Cardiac, Vascular, or General/Obstetric Sonography. The program is accredited, and all three of the tracks qualify graduates to sit for certification exams.
What to Expect from Kentucky Sonography Programs
Associate degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography typically take two years or more to complete. In most cases, they are focused on preparing graduates to qualify for and successfully complete the professional certification exams administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Participants in ultrasound technician training programs are required to take basic science courses, which generally include biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and physics. Admission to these programs is usually competitive, and applicants may be required to already have training or work experience in relevant health- or science-related areas. Accepted students may also need to complete prerequisite courses before beginning the program.
Along with general coursework, students can expect to gain training in specialized medical/technical areas, including:
- Obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound
- Cardiac ultrasound
- Vascular ultrasound
- Abdominal ultrasound
Most programs also include an internship component in order to provide participants with hands-on clinical experience, which is a requirement for certification exam eligibility.
Kentucky Ultrasound Technician Licensing and Certification
Kentucky does not require that ultrasound technicians be licensed by the state in order to practice professionally. However, sonographers must hold a certification from either the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) in order to be considered for employment in the state.
To sit for these certification exams, candidates must have graduated from an accredited training program and completed a program of supervised clinical practice, which is typically provided within the context of most degree programs. Upon successful completion of a general exam and a specialization exam, technicians are given the designation of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS).
Resources for Ultrasound Technicians in Kentucky