Online Diagnostic Medical Sonography Schools and Colleges

Online programs in diagnostic medical sonography are offered at the certificate, associate and bachelor's levels at select colleges. Admission to the program is open to new high school graduates, professionals and students interested in continuing education. Since requirements for the degree vary at each educational level, prospective students should pay attention to on-campus requirements and internship hours required to graduate.

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Considerations

  • Award level
  • Licensing requirements
  • Program delivery
  • Technical requirements

Award Level

Sonographers operate ultrasound equipment, and the images are used to help physicians diagnose medical cardiac, vascular, gynecologic and obstetric conditions. Professional sonographers typically hold an associate's degree, but a more advanced degree offers graduates a chance to apply for administrative and managerial positions in the field. Some may also choose to become certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Licensing Requirements

Sonographers don't need a license to practice, but many employers prefer to hire licensed sonographers because it proves a candidate's level of skills and abilities. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers tests to sonographers in a number of field specialties, such as abdomen, breast and nervous system. Many certified sonographers continue to take classes throughout their careers to keep up on the latest trends in health care and diagnostics.

Program Delivery

Due to the hands-on nature of this field, online programs in sonography are offered in hybrid format, in which students take some courses online but spend at least part of the time on campus to complete hands-on training. Students learn by following courses on DVDs and participating in student-teacher exchange in online chat rooms, message boards and e-mail. The program also requires students to take part in a clinical rotation program on-campus or at a local hospital.

Technical Requirements

In order to participate in online programs, students require high speed Internet and enough memory to run software programs. Computers need to accommodate the transmission of large media files, including video live streaming. Students need some level of technical fluency to download, run and access important course materials online.

List of Popular Online Sonography Programs

Online Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Online certificate programs are available to students who have completed the natural science requirements for the field, or who hold a degree in nursing. The program combines an intensive clinical training with online seminars and specialized courses in sonography. A typical program lasts anywhere from 1 to 2 years and includes courses in medical terminology and clinical lab. Students can focus on one of the four area concentrations in sonography:

  • General
  • Vascular
  • Cardiac
  • Abdominal

Online Associate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Online degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography are available in a hybrid format. Students follow online seminars and complete lessons while participating in clinical training in a local hospital or medical center. Most schools help arrange clinical training, which can take up to 30 hours a week for 16 weeks of the program. Coursework includes:

  • Medical ethics and law
  • Ultrasound physics
  • Sonography clinical lab

Online Bachelor of Science in Health Care in Medical Sonography

An online bachelor's degree in health care is geared towards students who wish to work in administrative positions in health care. A degree offers students a deeper understanding of the health care profession by requiring students to take classes in a variety of the health care specializations, such as pharmacology, health care policy and health care management.

A major in medical sonography offers students interested in medical imaging a chance to develop managerial skills and knowledge of the profession applicable to entry-level management positions in the field. Online students are required to complete seminars and coursework while participating in a clinical training program at a local hospital or clinic. Some of the coursework for this degree includes:

  • Epidemiology
  • Health care ethics
  • Leadership
  • Health policy
  • Ultrasound physics
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