If you're interested in a career in the health care industry, and enjoy working with cutting-edge technology, you might consider training as an ultrasound technician. Also called sonographers, ultrasound technicians perform diagnostic tests on patients using sophisticated ultrasound machines. These machines create pictures of internal organs and other tissues using high-frequency sound waves. Health care professionals then use these images to diagnose, treat, and monitor a variety of medical conditions, from pregnancy to cancer to heart disease.
To ensure you are able to find employment and qualify for certification, only enroll in sonography programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Nebraska offers three programs with CAAHEP accreditation:
After graduation, the next step is applying to ARDMS to receive certification. Graduation from any of the programs listed above should prepare graduates to receive these credentials.
Sonography training programs focus heavily on clinical training, preparing graduates by using the same type of equipment they'll find in a real world hospital, clinic, or laboratory. Students learn to create sonographic imagery of multiple internal organs and tissues, including:
Coursework varies, depending on whether the student enrolls in a certificate, Associate degree, or Bachelor's degree program. All students can expect to learn about anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pathophysiology, and sonographic physics. Some programs also offer an internship component, giving students the chance to finish their training at an actual health care facility.
To improve employability and increase earning potential, ARDMS certification is highly recommended. In fact, many facilities require certification. Obtaining these credentials requires submission of a Clinical Verification Form along with an application and fee. You must then pass two exams, one in your chosen specialty and the other in Sonography Principles and Instrumentation.
The choices for credentials are:
Students must include their transcripts or CME certification of completion when applying. If your application is incomplete, ARDMS returns the application, but not the processing fee.