An associate's degree program in sonography technologies primarily focuses on general sonography topics including performing a general sonography exam and properly positioning patients for optimal sonographic images.
Graduates are prepared to sit for an exam that is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, which leads to the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer designation. Students accepted into these associate's degree programs may be required to submit proof of immunizations and CPR proficiency and to complete a physical examination.
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Associate's Degree in Sonography Technologies
Associate's degree programs introduce students to the concept and science of sonography, and how it is used to identify disease and abnormalities associated with the human body. Sonography is becoming increasingly preferred by patients and physicians as the primary way to take diagnostic images and videos. This is primarily because sound waves are less harmful than the radiation to which a patient is exposed during radiographic procedures.
Classes provide a general introduction into the various sonographic specialties; however, students enrolled in the first year complete a majority of general education courses. Possible sonography classes include the following:
- Physics of sonography
- Principles of cardiovascular sonography
- Sonography of the abdomen
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) estimates that jobs for diagnostic medical sonographers may increase by 26% during the years 2014 through 2024. The BLS stated that these professionals earned $68,970 as a median yearly wage as of 2015.
Continuing education options include advanced certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography and the possibility of specializing in cardiac or vascular sonography. Beyond these advanced certificate programs, a student can choose to enroll in a bachelor's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography.
Associate's degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography cover general sonography principles. Students who pursue this degree can earn certification and enter a career field that is expected to see strong job growth through 2024.