Assisting in the diagnosis and assessment of medical conditions, diagnostic medical sonographers (commonly known as ultrasound technicians) create images and conduct tests using sophisticated imaging equipment. Sometimes, they're also required to assist physicians or surgeons in medical procedures. And, as imaging photography continues to improve, sonography may soon replace more invasive and less cost-effective diagnosis methods. This could mean an increase in demand for qualified ultrasound professionals with formal training in the field.
South Dakota Ultrasound Technician Schools
To pursue a career as an ultrasound technician in South Dakota, a formal education is required. An associate degree or postsecondary certificate in the appropriate field is typically the standard for entry-level employment. While there is only one sonography school in the state offering a dedicated sonography program, several online schools have options for distance education in relevant fields.
- Southeast Technical Institute: Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Southeast Technical Institute provides courses for over 50 different career paths. One of these is the Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Abdominal/OB/GYN program, which is an associate degree. It focuses on the abdomen, female reproductive system, and developing fetuses. They also offer a Vascular Ultrasound Technology program, which instead looks at the diagnosis of all varieties of vascular disease.
- Kaplan University: Available to those who wish to study from home, Kaplan University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program. The course is focused on teaching students how to use the latest technology to manage patient data, including the collection and analysis of medical reports.
- University of Cincinnati Online: An online Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology program is available at the University of Cincinnati, which allows students to learn from home whilst also embarking on an internship.
What to Expect from South Dakota Sonography Programs
Ultrasound technician programs in South Dakota typically divide instruction between classroom-based learning and hands-on training, which may mean working alongside a trained technician in a clinical environment. All of the elements involved in diagnostic medical sonography will be covered, and students are also often given the opportunity to choose a specialist area.
While curriculum will vary by school and specialty, most programs include training in the following areas:
- The principles of sonography
- Human physiology
- Human anatomy
- Medical terminology
- Sonographic anatomy
- Sonographic pathology
- Specialist areas, e.g. abdominal sonography or breast sonography
South Dakota Ultrasound Technician Licensing and Certification
South Dakota does not require any specialist license in order to work as a medical sonographer. However, many employers require candidates to have a professional certification, as the majority of insurance providers and Medicare necessitate that sonographers be certified to carry out the tests that their clients require. These certifications can be achieved through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
When applying for these certifications, you will be given the chance to choose a specialist subject (e.g. breast sonography) and will need to pass an exam in order to gain the associated certificate. Some students just have one certification, while others might have a number, depending on the career path they wish to pursue. To show that candidates are able to perform CPR, some employers may need to see that they have passed a Basic Life Support certification.
Resources for Ultrasound Technicians in South Dakota