Ultrasound Tech Bachelors Program Overviews
Find out about bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography. Get information on required courses, specialization options and career opportunities for ultrasound techs.
A career as an ultrasound technician (or ultrasound tech) requires the completion of a diagnostic medical sonography program. These programs call for four years of study and usually include courses in statistics, physics, biology, anatomy and patient care. Students are introduced to the use of ultrasound technology to create images of internal organs, the heart and the circulatory system. Training is provided in abdominal sonography, gynecological sonography, vascular sonography and cardiovascular sonography.
Some bachelor's degree programs offer a general sonography track, while others allow students to specialize in a particular area. The number of specialty areas varies according to the college and size of the ultrasound department. The final two years of enrollment focus on gaining clinical experience in each of the major sonographic disciplines, regardless of concentration.
Applicants must have at least completed high school and met the minimum general education requires for math and science. In some instances, a university may request scores for the SAT or ACT exam. In lieu of a standardized exam, the completion of a number of hours spent observing an ultrasound tech may be required. Verification of observation will need to be sent with the application package.
Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in sonography receive hands-on experience administering general exams. Coursework may include:
- Sonography physics
- Doppler sonography
- Vascular sonography
- Cardiac sonography
- Applications of sonography
- Advanced physics
- Clinical practicum
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of diagnostic medical sonographers, or ultrasound techs, is expected to increase by about 44% from 2010-2020. The annual median salary for ultrasound techs as of May 2012 is $65,860.
Continuing Education Information
Registration with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) is required of those who have completed a bachelor's degree program in ultrasound technology. The RDMS (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer) designation is awarded after the successful completion of an exam about sonographic physics and a specialty area, if necessary.
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