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If medical specialties allure you, and a career in sonography is your ultimate aim, everything you need to know about sonographer training is right here…
Ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves, image scans, and body diagnosis… sonography is an interesting field of medicine. Sonographers are high in demand, and career opportunities are zooming, chiefly because, ultrasound is highly preferred over X-rays. It is not only safer for patients, but also cost-effective. What’s more, the advancement in sonography, inclusion of 3D and 4D sonography for instance, has triggered the growth of sonographer jobs.
With reference to the current scenario, when we scroll through the list of best careers, medicine is a top-drawer career, simply because of its high salary range, and fantastic career prospects. The immensely attractive salary range for sonographers confirms growth in this field, and enhancement in the job outlook of the same. So, you know how to become a sonographer, are pretty much prepared to undergo an all-inclusive medical sonographer training, but don’t know much about how to begin.
Well, as a treat to your decision, following is a comprehensive review on how and where to take up an educational program that meets all your requirements. Research as much as you can, as medical jobs require considerable know-how before pursuance.
Fields and Nature of Work
Now that you’ve decided to make a career in sonography, there is something you need to know before you move further. Have you decided which branch of sonography are you interested in? Just so you know, there are various branches of this field, which are as follows:
- Routine Sonography
- Interventional Sonography
- Abdominal Sonography
- Echocardiography Sonography
- Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography
In order to seek training in one of the fields above, one needs to have the basic idea of what actually sonography is about. An all-inclusive sonographer, in other words a diagnostic medical sonographer, examines parts of body such as the reproductive system, breasts, heart, blood vessels, etc. and detects health problems, if any. A sonographer also suggests treatment of the same. While this is a bit of information about the sonographer’s job, in order to learn about the requisites of diagnostic medical sonographer training, check out the following section.
Training and Qualifications
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), America suggests, there are a number of modes by which a sonography aspirant can enter. Employers all over the world prefer students with licensed degree in one or more fields of sonography. To start with, in order to seek diagnostic medical sonographer training, sonographers can register themselves in recognized hospitals, training institutions, colleges and universities. However, a background in mathematics, health, and science is a prerequisite.
There are a number of recognized colleges and universities that offer training to those aspiring to make a career in sonography. Programs vary in accordance with the type of degree one chooses. An aspirant can go for either a 2-year or 4-year program, in order to fetch a bachelor’s degree. What’s more, there is no limit to seeking training with reference to specialties as aspirants are free to seek advancement in more than one field of sonography. This not only widens the scope and opportunities, but also triggers their marketability up a notch.
The coursework depends upon the branch of sonography that you pick up. To your surprise, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited as many as 150 programs for training in the year 2008, which are successfully offered by institutions all over the world, thus making sonography one of the most lucrative careers. The basic coursework is inclusive of studies dedicated to anatomy, physics, medical ethics, patient care, etc. followed by the nitty-gritty of the branch of sonography.
Furthermore, if an aspirant wants to seek training for less than 2 or 4 years, there are a number of 1-year programs that offer vocational certification too. However, this program is taken up by workers who have a previous experience and hold in the medical fraternity, and are just looking forward to expand their horizons and marketability in the field of sonography.
In order to become a certified sonographer, an aspirant is expected to have good interpersonal and communication skills, as this career requires care and attention to the patients, and many a time, good communication between the sonographer and the patient helps in combating the anxiety that hovers the patient. As for the technical qualifications, a sonography aspirant is expected to become eligible for and pass the examination, followed by the training.
This is possible only with proper education. What’s more, the aspirant is required to complete the continuing education hours for registration. A Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) is the one who passes the examination conducted by the certifying organization, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in most cases. Certification, as stated above, isn’t limited to a single specialty. For example, even an abdominal sonographer can seek cardiac sonographer training, and ARDMS has credentials for that too.
Lastly, fees for any of the training programs varies hugely, and is mostly dependent on the kind of certification or degree you aspire for. In approximate terms, a 1-year program of diagnostic medical sonography from a community institution or public university lies somewhere between $3,000 – $15,000. On the other hand, an extended program, say 2-year or 4-year training program, may go well above $30,000.
However, the salary figures of sonographers, as we’ve discussed above, are more than alluring. An average sonographer salary is no less than $80,000 on an annual basis. Where the approximate diagnostic medical sonographer salary lies somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000, the average cardiac sonographer salary is also close to $75,000 annually. Undoubtedly, these high salary figures make sonography one of the most preferred careers by medical students.
Modern medical science has arms wide open for sonography aspirants, and the phenomenal numbers present in the pay scale of sonographers outline that more than anything else. Not only the pay scale, but a widened career outlook that a sonographer is offered makes up for everything that a medical aspirant dreams for. With that, I’ll wind up my information on the requirements, qualifications, and career prospects. It’s not just the opportunities in sonography that makes it one of the best hospital jobs, but the ability to save life, and serve life, that proffers immense job satisfaction to a career-conscious aspirant.