What do you need to become an ultrasound tech?
Do you want to grow into an expert in this field yet don’t know how to go about it? Don’t worry; this article focuses on how to become a diagnostic medical sonographer.
We’ll put you through the steps to take and practitioner. In addition, we’ll highlight their average earning, study duration, and other vital details.
Here are the education requirements for a sonographer.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Requirements
In the U.S., more skilled clinical experts are needed to monitor and assess the conditions linked with older adults. We refer to musculoskeletal issues, cancer, and heart diseases.
Now, a diagnostic or ultrasound technology career will allow you to help people in such conditions. You’ll detect diseases and work with patients in a non-inversive capacity.
What is a diagnostic medical sonographer?
You can also call experts in this profession, sonographers or ultrasound technicians. They’re hospital personnel who perform several clinical tasks.
The most essential is using special equipment to produce internal images, videos, scans, and three-dimensional visualization of the body. This equipment uses sound waves to make diagnostic photos.
Doctors use these images to provide accurate medical diagnoses and suitable treatment options.
Some body parts they take photos of include blood vessels, tissues, the chest, the brain, the musculoskeletal system, and the abdomen. Then, some conditions they diagnose are breast abnormalities, cardiovascular diseases, and gynecologic needs.
Besides taking images, there are other duties diagnostic medical sonographers perform. They include explaining the ultrasound diagnostic procedures to patients and evaluating & identifying abnormal imaging results.
Assisting, preparing, and positioning clients for imaging procedures and reviewing patients’ medical records are additional roles of these experts.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Schooling
Growing into an expert in this occupation involves several steps.
For instance, you must satisfy both academic and certification conditions. This might take you a few to several years, depending on your choice of program and institution.
Allow us to review these steps one by one.
Have a Postsecondary Education
A postsecondary or associate of applied science degree is the bare academic essential to joining the industry. You can choose between a one-year associate degree or four-year undergrad studies in sonography.
These credentials are obtainable at hospital training programs, vocational centers, colleges, or universities.
However, you can start preparing for this career path early by focusing on relevant activities and coursework in high school. You’ll take courses in physiology, anatomy, physics, and math.
These classes will provide you with foundational knowledge in the field.
That said, you must ensure that you choose sonography programs certified by CAAHEP. Most employers demand that job seekers hold credentials obtained from accredited institutions.
Acquire Hands-on Experience.
Gaining field experience is another crucial step in becoming an expert in this occupation.
Similarly, most employers require candidates to have more experience to supplement their education. You can acquire such proficiency through internships and externships in clinical settings or during your studies.
Most diagnostic medical sonography programs include internships in their curriculum. This will help you learn the basics of ultrasound and sonographic terminology.
You can also gain practical experience by taking entry-level jobs in a clinical facility.
Furthermore, you’ll develop your communication, interpersonal, medical, and technical skills. Learning about the various types of sonography, preparing for specialization, and collaborating with experienced practitioners are additional perks of this document.
It’s not mandatory to acquire an attestation before joining this profession.
But it’s vital for your job hunt because it will increase your employment chances and potential earnings. You can obtain a sonographer certification after schooling and gaining relevant experience.
Such credentials will demonstrate your industry knowledge and specialized skills to potential employers. You can obtain RVT, RMSK, RDCS, RSV, RCCS, and RDMS certificates.
ARDMS administers them to qualified candidates. ARRT also offers attestations in sonography, vascular, and breast sonography.
Before placing a hand on these certifications, certain conditions must be met. These essentials vary from one state to another. But most parts will demand you have a relevant academic background and work experience.
You’ll also be required to write and pass the professional test.
Certification Exams for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
As stated earlier, you’ll be required to take a professional exam before getting certified. The ARDMS credentialing exam is divided into two parts.
The first part is on general sonography principles & instruments (SPI). Then, the second test is on the abdomen, breast, fetal echocardiography, or pediatric sonography.
When you pass both exams successfully, you’ll be issued your attestation. However, you must update it after a certain period. While renewing this document, you must also satisfy certain conditions.
These include paying for recertification and completing some hours of continuing education.
Cost of Completing a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program
Knowing the cost implications of finishing a program in this field will help you significantly. First, you can make informed decisions regarding your study expenses.
Secondly, you can make adequate preparations on time. According to reports, vocational programs in this field cost around $39,619.
Then, undergrad studies, including tuition and fees, cost between $8,890 and $27,763. Graduate-level programs are around $16,436 to $32,067.
However, this tuition cost can vary based on some key factors. They include your program choice, institution, residential status, specialty, and entry route.
Before making any significant move, check with your desired institution of study. You’ll get a hint of how much you’ll spend pursuing this occupation.
Salary of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Most people desire to secure a high-paying job after finishing their education. For that, it will be crucial that you learn about the earning potential of practitioners in this field.
Based on reports, diagnostic medical sonographers receive an average of $91,320 to $107,898 annually. The amount can go as high as $139,713 a year.
While true, this salary structure is bound to change due to some factors.
These include your educational background, experience level, geographical location, and work settings. So, before accepting any job offer, you must consider these influencers.
While true, certain factors can influence workers’ pay in this sector. They include your choice of specialization, certifications, and number of patients you diagnose.
Your geographical location, academic background, level of experience, and type of facility you work in can also affect your earning potential.
This is where we’ll put a stop without discussion. We hope you’ve gotten the answers you seek and even more. The guide above can lead you to grow into a diagnostic medical sonographer.
While you pursue this profession, ensure you learn more about your study program.