What Does It Take to Become an Ultrasound Tech?
An ultrasound tech is an important member of the medical staff. He or she performs imaging duties that assists the physician in making a diagnosis. The ultrasound tech or medical sonographer are mostly known for taking pictures of unborn babies to determine if they are healthy and to provide the sex of the child. However, that isn’t the limit of their services. They are used by any medical community that may need an image of various body parts to determine if there is an infliction. With a two-year degree in diagnostic medical sonography (DMS), you can average $50,000 a year. If you are interested in learning How to Become an ultrasound tech, read on.
The first step in How to Become an ultrasound tech is education. You must first have a high school diploma or equivalent. Next, you are expected to complete a diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) program that is accredited. Depending on your DMS program, it could take at least one year or up to four to complete. Although not necessary, at least an associated degree is recommended. A high school diploma can get you working but an associate degree or higher will get you paid at least $8,000 more per year compared to not having your degree.
Science and Math
A love of science and math will also help you succeed in your course study as an ultrasound technician.
The option to take an online diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) program is also available for those who don’t have the flexibility of time. An online training program can be completed at your own pace and is a great option for single parents. Before choosing any DMS program, it is critical that you ensure that it is an accredited program. Keiser University, Institute of Allied Medical Professions and Medical Career Institute are three schools that offer a DMS program; however, there are many more. Research is a key component when choosing the right school for you.
Selecting a Specialty
After you’ve completed your schooling, it is time to select a specialty. When choosing a specialty, look at specialties that you find interesting. For example, if you love working with women and children then Obstetrics is the field for you. However, you can choose many other specialties such as abdominal, vascular, and small parts.
Most employers will want you to be registry eligible within one year after employment. In order for you to be registry eligible, you must work in the field of your specialty for one year and meet any other prerequisites set forth by the certifying agency. ARDMS is one such agency that is recognized. During that initial year, you would be preparing to take your test to become certified. Preparation help can be found at the ARDMS.org website.
Skills & Qualities
Two important traits of any successful ultrasound tech are the love of people and patience. In fact, you will find your job much more rewarding with these two small traits in place first. An ultrasound tech spends a large part of his day interacting with patients and being able to explain the procedure in a way that will help the patient become more comfortable.