Most students choose to earn an associate's degree to enter the sonography field, although earning a bachelor's degree can lead to supervisory positions in the healthcare industry. There are also some certificate programs available for those already working in the field. A large amount of employers prefer candidates who are certified in the field, so choosing degree or certificate programs that count toward certification training requirements may prove essential for gainful employment. Students in sonogram technician programs normally attend lectures and complete clinical training hours to get hands-on practice.
Sonogram technician programs usually review the following topics:
- Ultrasound imaging
- Human anatomy
- Vascular imaging
- Sonographic skills and techniques
- Patient care
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List of Classes
Anatomy and Physiology Course
An anatomy and physiology course introduces aspiring sonographers to the names and locations of body parts and organ systems. Topics of study include the respiratory, muscular, skeletal and integumentary (skin) systems. Students also learn the location of bones and muscles.
Sonographic Imaging and Instrumentation Course
An imaging and instrumentation course provides students with the know-how to operate ultrasound equipment. Students learn how to read and interpret sonographic images. This course is typically split into lecture and lab components. Topics covered also include instrument quality control, image measurements and scanning techniques.
Obstetrics Imaging Course
Obstetrics is one of the most common medical uses of sonography. In an obstetrics imaging course, students learn how to perform and read sonographic images, maintain safety protocols, and provide patients with feedback on the images rendered. Students will learn how to verify if there are abnormalities or other concerns and how to address these issues with the pregnant mother.
Abdominal Sonography Course
An abdominal sonography course is delivered in half-lab, half-lecture format. Students learn how to recognize both normal and abnormal abdominal images. Students will learn when abdominal sonograms are necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Topics of study may also include pathology, laboratory testing and scanning techniques specific to areas of the abdomen.
Most programs include several required clinical training courses. During clinical sonography courses, students learn practical skills by observing and conducting sonograms on real patients. These sonogram tech classes may take place in labs, hospitals, clinics or private medical offices. Students work with experienced sonogram technicians or physicians in order to further develop skills in pelvic, abdominal and vascular sonography.