Did you know that the US Labor Bureau of Statistics has estimated a growth of 40% for X-ray technology field in the next 10 years? Even more surprising is to know that the same organization predicts a median salary of $64,000 per year for X-ray technicians who need no graduate school training. Interestingly, this pay scale can go up to $80,000 with a Bachelor’s degree or practical experience in ultrasound technology.
An ultrasound technician is a professional capable in using the ultrasound technology featuring sound waves of high frequency to reflect the internal health of patients. Such a job responsibility is, therefore, does not only earn you a high pay but also generous benefits such as vacation time and admirable healthcare options. On top of this, the 24-hour demand for these experts motivates the employees to keep a flexible work schedule such as in shifts.
So, do you wish to be an ultrasound technician? If yes, then you need to enroll for an ultrasound technician program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CCAHEP). This is because an accredited program ensures the best clinical education, and therefore, the best job as well.
The Certification Programs
There are more than 80 programs as of 2012, which provide training for a year are meant for those who are cross training from some other field of medical domain. The best program for you is actually the one that comes with opportunities to perform quantifiable rotations, get solid training in safety procedures, and impart formal sonography coursework.
- Rotations: Look for this factor for any degree level course. If not more, ensure that you get to work in gynecology, obstetrics, and abdominal sonography although getting more rotations is always better. The idea behind this is that you become more eligible for the technician’s job after graduation. Moreover, you can also see what you are best at or what you like to do the most.
- Safety at Hand: In any medical field, maintaining one’s and others’ health is of ultimate importance. Therefore, the program you choose need to have at least a generic ideal of what is required to retain health at work. This will probably include using different safety gear, monitoring radiation to avoid exposure, and bending or lifting patients in the most efficient manner.
- Informative Sonography Lessons: Despite having prior degree or experience in the medical field, it is essential to choose an ultrasound tech program that mandates eight hours of class work per week. This will help in comprehending the physics of all tools and units. The more you remain in the class to learn; the more prepared you will feel at your workplace.
The Associates’ Degree Programs
These courses are most common in this arena. However, the best is the one with clinical rotations, communication skills training, direct care experience, and assignments in psychology.
- Rotations: The more the number; the better is your performance right since the first day at your job place. Consider enrolling for a program that provides at least four rotations within the two years of training. If you have time, do take up an additional rotation through externship, which can make you grab a job of high pay.
- Communication Skills: This training is essential for working effectively with doctors, nurses, and patients. At times, an ultrasound technician might feel more challenging to converse with the doctors and nurses than with the patients. Therefore, it is vital to comprehend the different styles of communication before getting a job.
- Patient Care: In your career life of ultrasound technician, you are likely to meet different types of patients who are moderately ill, skeptical, or seriously anxious. Therefore, you need to know how to deal with each of them in a manner that they can feel comfortable. The patient care subject, thus, has much significance.
- Psychology: An ultrasound technician can work better if she or he learns to trace the brain and mood along with imaging the physical systems within the body. This is because there are patients who feel uncomfortable about their condition due to which they do not tell the complete truth.
Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs
Of all the 27 programs for bachelor’s degree and two for master’s degree ascribed by CAAHEP, none of them is available for online training. While choosing one out of them, ensure that your pick includes rotations, chances to do independent research, lab coursework, and training to handle real life scenarios.