When it comes to options for a stable and rewarding career, the health professions offer hundreds of exciting possibilities. Even better, you can get on track to join the workforce quickly with a degree and training from South College. In just 27 months (on a full-time enrollment schedule), you can earn an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography to become an ultrasound technologist.
What Does an Ultrasound Technologist Do?
An ultrasound technologist operates advanced medical equipment that uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the body’s internal organs. These detailed images are used by physicians to help assess and diagnose the health of those organs and surrounding blood vessels and arteries, so that they can determine whether there are any issues that need to be addressed.
According to Jennifer Carroll, RDMS RVT, South College’s Chair of Imaging Sciences and DMS Program Director (Nashville), “the ultrasound technologist must act as the eyes of the radiologist while scanning.” It’s a job that requires a keen attention to detail, along with the ability to work well independently and professionally. The workloads are often flexible or changing, and you should be able to adapt and multi-task as needed.
Is it Right for Me?
If you want a career in the health professions that allows you to work with specialized equipment and technology to improve the lives of patients, it’s worth finding out how to become an ultrasound technologist.
For most professionals in this field, the greatest benefit of the job is getting to apply their skills in working with patients, physicians, and other medical professionals. You’ll be able to work in varied and interesting environments, including:
- Obstetrics offices
- Vascular clinics, and
- Outpatient centers
In some cases, you may even be able to travel to other cities, states, or even countries for a limited time to assist as a sonographer during shortages.
How to Become an Ultrasound Technologist
First, find a school that offers a reputable Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. The one offered at South College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If you meet the admissions criteria, have completed the prerequisite classes, and are accepted, the program will be rigorous. You’ll have to spend a lot of time studying – not just memorizing facts, but applying the information you receive. You must be willing to practice scanning as much and as often as possible, and be dedicated to gaining the experience necessary to become proficient.
You’ll need to earn at least an associate’s degree, but many students find it worthwhile to go on to earn a bachelor’s. Once your education is complete, passing the exam to become a registered medical diagnostic sonographer will show potential employers that you’re serious about your education and are willing to put in the effort needed to become an ultrasound technologist.
Earn Your Degree at South College
At South College, our faculty and small class sizes help to ensure that you receive the focused, expert instruction you need. We have a state-of-the-art scanning laboratory and five ultrasound machines to provide adequate hands-on training. When not in class or the lab, students are at their clinical sites 4-5 days a week for the duration of the program. Clinical placements allow you to perform real world application of the education and skills you’ll cultivate throughout your courses.
As a high demand field, with 26% estimated job growth in the coming years, diagnostic medical sonography is an excellent choice for students who want to learn how to become an ultrasound technologist. For more details, request information about the program and South College.
*Job growth statistics are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014–2024 projections. Note that the Bureau does not publish estimates for all job titles, so in some cases these numbers are an approximation based on similar job titles.