Some Tips For Those Who Would Like To Become Ultrasound Technicians
If you are considering a job in the medical field, you may be interested in a career as an ultrasound technician. This is a job worth considering as there is an ongoing demand for well-trained ultrasound technicians.
To become successful in this field, you must be a compassionate individual, who is interested in helping others. In order to help their patients feel comfortable, and understand what the ultrasound process involves, technicians must have excellent communication skills. They must also be detail oriented, observant, and able to concentrate fully on the task at hand. Because they may have to lift some patients, and assist others into position, technicians must be physically fit.
Every work day ultrasound technicians meet a wide variety of patients, of every age, temperament, and ethnicity. The technicians must be able to greet all patients in a friendly non-judgmental manner. In addition to answering the client's question, technicians may need to record medical histories and ask the patient several, possibly personal, questions, so tact and kindness are essential qualities for a technician to possess.
By using high frequency sound waves, ultrasound can record images of blood, tissue and organs, which lie far below the skin's surface. After positioning the patient, the technician applies a thin layer of gel to the area that is in question and then passes a hand-held device over the area. The device records images, which are then projected onto a small screen. The ultrasound technician will collect a variety of data from this screen, which can then be analyzed and recorded to be passed on to a physician, who will use it to assist him/her with a diagnoses.
EDUCATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
To become an ultrasound technician, you will have to first obtain your high school diploma, and then enter a training course specifically for ultrasound technicians. These courses are usually found in community colleges, as well as vocational and technical schools. There are also more in-depth courses offered by universities. Make sure that your high school training includes course in English, mathematics, and science - anatomy, if it is available. Computer training would be useful.
As with all jobs, it pays to have as much experience as possible. Consider volunteering, while still in high school, in a hospital or other medical facility, where you will be exposed to a variety of individuals and get some idea of what it means to be involved in the health care system.
You may be able to get an entry level position with a certificate of diploma. This will take only one year of training.
It would be wiser, if possible, to take a two or four year course and obtain an associate or bachelor degree.
Whatever course you decide on, make sure it is accredited. Courses are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, from which you can obtain a list of accredited programs available.
If you are dedicated to your career, you would want to become registered. To do so you would need to first graduate from an accredited program, and then write and pass an exam. With some experience under you belt, you may also become certified.
Neither certification, nor registration may be a job requirement, but do some investigating and make sure you understand what is required for the type of job you wish to hold, as well as for the area in which you wish to practice.
The better educated and more skilled you are, the more in demand your services will be.
Many ultrasound technicians advance to become educators, and supervisors.