Sonography is typically used as a diagnostic medical tool. High frequency sound waves are used to create images of bone, tissue and organs to detect injury or disease. Graduate degree programs are rare, while bachelor's degree programs much more common. Those with a degree in sonography can work in hospitals, clinics, physician's offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Students must complete clinical work in addition to the program coursework.
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Bachelor's Degree on Sonography
Sonography is used in many areas of the medical field, for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Program coursework will include medical and science courses such as anatomy, physiology, sectional anatomy, medical terminology, and physics. In addition to the science courses, curriculum for a degree program in sonography consists of courses addressing many types of sonography procedures, such as:
- Sonographic abdominal scanning
- Breast, cardiac and vascular sonography
- Obstetrical and gynecological sonography
- Clinical sonography
- Sonographic instrumentation
- Sonography patient care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The field of medical sonography is expected to grow 26% from 2014 to 2024, a much faster rate than the average. This growth is mainly due to a continued increase in the elderly population, resulting in a greater demand for the therapeutic and diagnostic procedures sonography provides. In 2015, the median annual salary for medical sonographers was $68,970.
Continuing Education Information
Though not a requirement, some sonographers choose to become registered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), www.ardms.org, or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), www.arrt.org. Continuing education requirements must be met in order to maintain registration in both of these organizations.
Students often pursue a bachelor's degree in sonography, since graduate programs are not as common. The bachelor's program uses a combination of medical and science courses with clinical experience to prepare students to be medical sonographers.