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Ultrasonographer Required Courses and Classes Overview

To work as an ultrasonographer, formal training is required through a diagnostic medical sonography program. Read on for an overview of common classes in ultrasonographer programs.

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Essential Information

Students interested in careers as ultrasonographers usually take courses in diagnostic ultrasound technology or diagnostic medical sonography. Most often available at community colleges, these programs result in a certificate or an associate's degree, both of which may take about 2 years to finish. For certificate and associate's degree programs, certain prerequisite college-level coursework may be necessary to meet enrollment standards.

Here is a list of concepts generally examined in ultrasonographer courses:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Scanning techniques
  • Cross-sectional anatomy
  • Wave concepts
  • Transducer construction
  • Ultrasound beam formation
  • Attenuation

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List of Common Classes

Human Sectional Anatomy Course

This introductory course addresses the gross anatomy of the female and male body in the longitudinal, transverse and coronal planes. Students learn about the gynecological and obstetrical structures, the abdomen and superficial structures. The anatomical relationships of the vascular structures, organs, quadrants and body planes are studied. Students learn to recognize the different parts of the anatomy through ultrasound images.

Abdominal Sonography Course

This ultrasonographer course provides instruction in performing sonographies of the abdominal organs. Emphasis is on identifying the difference between pathology in the abdominal cavity and the normal aging process of the organs. Instruction includes lecture and lab sessions, both designed to teach students basic abdominal sonography techniques.

Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation Course

Students learn in detail how to operate the sonographic instruments used to produce ultrasound images. The curriculum provides an understanding of the basic principles of ultrasound instrumentation and physics. Specifically, students learn about basic acoustical waves in human soft tissue, parameters that affect sound transmission, attenuation of sound energy and resolution of sound beams.

Obstetric and Gynecological Sonography Course

The emphasis of this more advanced course is on performing sonographic images of the female reproductive system. Students learn to use ultrasound to evaluate pregnancies, including determination of normal and abnormal fetal development. Also covered are related clinical symptoms of abnormal sonographic patterns and the laboratory tests associated with them. This ultrasonographer course is taught using lectures and labs, and it also covers scanning techniques, ultrasound protocol and transducer selection.

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