While master's degree programs in ultrasound are uncommon, there are many bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic sonography that teach students the practical skills needed to operate ultrasound equipment and evaluate medical images. Programs combine coursework in the natural sciences and medical technology to help students understand how ultrasound images are created and how they can be used to diagnose various diseases. They also include hands-on clinical experience handling medical equipment and caring for patients in a hospital setting.
Most of these programs take at least four years to complete. In order to apply, students must hold bachelor's degrees and have completed undergraduate courses in biology and chemistry.
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Bachelor's Degree in Diagnostic Sonography
In these programs, students learn to create images of patients' cardiovascular systems, abdominal regions and pelvic areas. They also study different types of sonography equipment, including ultrasound and echocardiograph devices. Other topics of study include medical terminology and basic medical diagnostics. Common course titles include:
- Sonography physics
- Ultrasound image examination
- Anatomy and physiology
- Organic chemistry
- High-resolution images
- Patient care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment would increase by 24% from 2014-2024. The mean annual salary of these workers was $70,880 in May 2015.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Some graduates earn voluntary certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in order to be more attractive to potential employers. Certification is available in several specialties, like abdominal or cardiovascular imaging. Candidates must pass a practical test to be certified, and they must fulfill periodic continuing education requirements in order to maintain certification.
Through master's degree programs in diagnostic sonography, students learn about ultrasound technology and how it is used in the healthcare field.