Also known as sonographers, ultrasound technicians are health care professionals who create diagnostic imagery using an ultrasound machine, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of a patient's muscles, internal organs, joints and other tissues.
Physicians use these images to treat, diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions, including heart disease, pregnancy and cancer.
Oregon Ultrasound Technician Schools
Credentials from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) are a must-have for a career as an ultrasound tech. ARDMS prefers graduates of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In Oregon, only one program has this accreditation.
- Oregon Tech: Located in Klamath Falls, this school offers one of the only Bachelor of Science sonography programs on the west coast. Graduates of the class of 2015 earned 100 percent passing rates on their ARDMS exams, as well as 100 percent job placement. Students get to choose their preferred specialty, including abdominal, gynecological or neurosonography.
The Bachelor of Science is a four-year degree program, with all 60 credit hours of the fourth year spent in a diagnostic medical sonography externship.
What to Expect from Oregon Ultrasound Technician Schools
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree requires a full course load of general education courses. These include:
- Argumentative writing
- Human anatomy and physiology
While some of these courses qualify as general education, others are more tailored to students preparing for a career as a sonographer, such as human anatomy and psychology.
As students enter their second and third years, course work moves more toward classes specifically designed for their major. These include:
- Patient care
- Sonographic principles and instrumentation
- Physics of medical imaging
- Musculoskeletal sonography
- Adult echocardiography
Students spend their final year working and studying in a clinical setting -- and actual medical facility that uses real-world equipment.
Oregon Ultrasound Technician Certification
Oregon is one of the few states that require sonographers to obtain a special license. Applicants must submit a completed application along with:
- Fingerprint background check fee
- Passport size photo
- Application processing fee (i.e., money order, check, or cashier's check only)
- Photocopy of National Registry Credentials card
- Detailed report of past criminal history (including police reports, court documents, and a letter of explanation for each incident)
- Detailed report of disciplinary actions taken against you in another state
In addition to licensing, sonographers require certification credentials. To obtain certification from ARDMS, you must submit your completed application as well as the application fee, a Clinical Verification Form and your transcript.
You must also pass two exams, the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam and one in your chosen specialty. ARDMS returns incomplete applications but does not reimburse the application processing fee.
- Sonographer, Oregon Board of Medical Imaging, Oregon.gov, http://www.oregon.gov/OBMI/Pages/sonography_apps.aspx?trk=profile_certification_title, accessed October 18, 2016
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm, accessed October 18, 2016
- CAAHEP Accredited Programs, CAAHEP, http://www.caahep.org/Find-An-Accredited-Program/, accessed October 18, 2016
- Get Certified, ARDMS, http://www.ardms.org/get-certified/Pages/default.aspx, accessed October 18, 2016
- Ultrasound Jobs in Oregon, Indeed, http://www.indeed.com/q-Ultrasound-l-oregon-jobs.html, accessed October 18, 2016