If you have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and are interested in starting (or enhancing) your healthcare career, you might consider becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer. With training programs less than two years in length (on average) and a huge demand for trained professionals, a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer could open up a wide variety of new and exciting job opportunities. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 46 percent increase in medical sonographer jobs in the next decade, making it one of the fastest growing careers in the country today.
What Does a Sonographer Do?
Diagnostic medical sonographers, sometimes referred to as ultrasound technicians, work in hospitals, outpatient imaging centers and specialists’ offices where they take visual images of a patient’s organs, tissues and vascular systems. These images are then given to the doctor for the purpose of discovering abnormalities and making medical diagnoses.
In addition to giving ultrasounds, diagnostic sonographers are responsible for:
- Obtaining and recording patient histories
- Providing a written or oral summary of the technical findings for the physician
- Assisting with record keeping, clerical scheduling and image archiving
With experience, sonographers may also be promoted to managerial roles within the imaging facility or department.
To become a medical sonographer, you must first enroll in a diagnostic sonography training program, such as the one at the American College for Medical Careers. Students at ACMC may choose between an Associates and a Bachelor’s degree program, both of which provide comprehensive training in all aspects of diagnostic sonography. As a hybrid program, students at ACMC take all of their theoretical coursework online – a feature that provides students with maximum flexibility when training for their new careers. Students complete their training in the on-campus clinical lab and at an outside externship site to develop their technical skill and overall professionalism.
After completing the program, students will be well prepared to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam to earn their national credentials – the final step before launching their careers.