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Online Ultrasound Technician Degree Programs

Aspiring ultrasound technicians must typically complete at least an associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography. In some cases, a bachelor's degree in this area might be required. Though not common, a few schools throughout the United States offer online degree programs for ultrasound technicians.

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Essential Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers typically hold at least an associate's degree. Entirely online degree programs in medical sonography are available, but relatively rare. Some states require sonographers to be professionally licensed, so when choosing a program, check the licensing requirements in your state and look for programs that count toward licensure.


Online Associate's Degree Programs for Ultrasound Technicians

Most online associate's degree programs for ultrasound technicians emphasize ultrasound procedures, sonographic instrumentation and medical terminology. A 2-year online program in diagnostic medical sonography can result in an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science degree. Some online programs also offer certificates in diagnostic medical sonography in addition to an associate's degree.

Program Information and Requirements

Distance education programs resulting in an associate's degree for ultrasound technicians are typically presented in a combination of on-campus and online classes. In many cases, program requirements include a clinical experience at a local hospital, imaging center or clinic. An online associate's degree in diagnostic medical sonography generally takes two years to complete.

Online Diagnostic Medical Sonography Courses

Program coursework for online associate's degree programs for ultrasound technicians generally includes introductory courses in sonographic instrumentation and procedures, such as those used for vascular, cardiovascular, abdominal and gynecological purposes. Additional courses might include medical terminology, sectional anatomy, pathophysiology, sonographic physics and imaging ethics. A clinical practicum might also be part of the curriculum.

Introduction to Medical Sonography

Introductory or foundation courses typically offer study in the history and theories of sonography. Ultrasound uses, medical terminology, and legal and ethical issues in the field might also be discussed.

Sonographic Instrumentation

Instrumentation courses focus on the operation and maintenance of ultrasound equipment. How equipment is used for different ultrasound procedures and the function of instrumentation components are likely to be addressed.

Sectional Anatomy

The anatomy of several areas of the body most commonly subject to ultrasound procedures is addressed in these courses. Body areas include the pelvis, thorax, abdomen and nervous system. Some courses might use ultrasound images for illustration.

Graduate Career Information

Graduates of an online associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography are prepared for entry-level positions at hospitals or diagnostic imaging centers. According to the BLS, job growth for ultrasound technicians was expected to be 44%, much faster than the average for all occupations, between 2010 and 2020. The BLS further reported that the yearly median salary for ultrasound technicians was just over $65,800 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Upon completion of an online associate's degree program, graduates can pursue a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography or a related area. Continuing education might also include training sessions held by the manufacturing companies of imaging machines and instrumentation.


Online Bachelor's Degree Programs for Ultrasound Technicians

An online bachelor's degree program for ultrasound technicians generally provides students with advanced courses in many of the topics covered in a 2-year program. Students can choose to pursue a degree in diagnostic medical sonography, radiologic sciences or radiation sciences. A 4-year online program in these areas of study most commonly results in a Bachelor of Science degree. In some cases, an associate's degree is required to enroll in an online bachelor's degree program.

Program Information and Requirements

Online bachelor's degree programs for ultrasound technicians can be conducted entirely online, or in a combination of live instruction and Web-based classes. Some schools require completion of clinical labs, while others offer only non-clinical programs. Most programs will take four years to complete.

Online Diagnostic Medical Sonography Courses

The curriculum of an online bachelor's degree program for ultrasound technicians will typically address intermediate and advanced sonographic procedures, instrumentation, physics, anatomy and patient care. Courses might also be taken in pharmacology, pathology, and current health care trends and issues.

Sonographic Applications

Courses in specific ultrasound procedures comprise a large portion of the curriculum of an online bachelor's degree program in medical sonography or radiologic sciences. Students learn procedures and principles of abdominal, vascular, obstetrical, gynecological and breast sonography.

Physics

Physics courses in an online bachelor's degree program for ultrasound technicians address ultrasound physics, Doppler physics, ultrasound principles and basic equipment. Parameters, ultrasound transducer and the effects of medical imaging on the human body are other topics of discussion.

Patient Care

Patient care courses teach students how to physically and mentally comfort patients during medical imaging exams. Patient care theories and techniques are discussed.

Graduate Career Information

Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program for ultrasound technicians might qualify for more advanced positions in the field. They might also choose an area of specialization, such as cardiovascular technician or obstetric sonographer. According to the BLS, salaries will vary depending on specialization and employer type. Annual median wages can range between $44,900 for the lowest-earning ten percent and $91,070 for the highest-earning ten percent, as reported by the BLS as of May 2012.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program can pursue voluntary certification for diagnostic medical sonographers. Certifying organizations include the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Continuing education requirements might apply in order to maintain certification.

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