Online Ultrasound Training Programs and Career Education

Online training programs in ultrasound technology, also called diagnostic medical sonography, are available at the certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree levels. Typically these online ultrasound programs will have a clinical component, which students will be expected to complete in person.

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Online Ultrasound Training Programs

Diagnostic medical sonography, or ultrasound technology, is a medical technology by which sound waves are turned into visual images for the purposes of medical diagnosis. It is a field that affords interested individuals not only with online undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs, but also with certificate-level training programs.

Certificates typically take about 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the specialty the student chooses. These basic ultrasound specialties include, general (abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology) and cardiovascular (vascular and echocardiography, or the heart). Individual ultrasound training programs can have varying prerequisites which must be met before enrollment. However, not all programs require students to have experience as a practicing medical professional or to even hold a medical degree.

Along with learning how to operate technical equipment, students in an online ultrasound certificate-level program likely will take classes in basic human anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Career Education

In most cases, sonographers work under the direct supervision of physicians when providing care to patients. They play crucial roles in both inpatient and outpatient environments. Ultrasound careers offer a challenging blend of hands-on patient care with the mastery of sophisticated technologies. Sonographers are expected to explain to the patient, in layman's terms, about the ultrasound procedure, help promote healthy lifestyles, speak and behave in an ethical manner, and exhibit compassionate and empathetic communication abilities with fellow staff members and patients.

The career outlook in the ultrasound field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), is expected to grow faster than the average for all careers between the years 2008 and 2018. Ultrasound technicians can find work in clinics, hospitals and laboratories. In addition, job opportunities can also be found in education, administration or research.

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