In a bachelor's degree program for sonography, students learn to use equipment to collect reflected echoes from the human body to form diagnostic images, which are interpreted by physicians. Sonographers may specialize in a specific area, such as gynecologic, obstetric or abdominal sonography.
A high school diploma or equivalent, and advanced secondary science courses, or an optional associate's degree in sonography are prerequisites for admission in a bachelor's program. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in sonography are eligible to sit for the national credentialing examination given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Credentialed sonographers are more attractive to potential employers because of their proven knowledge and skills.
Bachelor's Degree in Sonography
A bachelor's degree program in sonography offers students a well-rounded didactic education in all areas of cardiac, vascular, and general sonography. Students become well versed in human anatomy and are prepared to assist doctors in diagnosing various ailments. In addition to echocardiolography and vascular technology procedures, the curriculum includes classes in:
- Abdominal sonography
- Physics of sonography
- High-resoultion sonography
- Obstetric sonography
- Pelvic sonography
- Vascular technology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase by 26% in the period of 2014-2024. As sonography technology continues to advance, many new procedures are going to be available to patients for diagnostic purposes. Additionally, the BLS stated that the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers was $68,970 as of May 2015.
Graduates of a sonography bachelor's degree program may choose to continue their education and enroll in a master's degree program in health science with a specialization in vascular sonography. This graduate program prepares students for work in vascular ultrasound and physiologic testing.
To summarize, a bachelor's degree program in sonography trains students how to use high frequency sound waves on a patient's body for diagnostic purposes. It also equips graduates with knowledge in human anatomy and prepares them for the credential exam administered by the ARDMS.