What Classes Should You Take to Become an Ultrasound Technician?

Considering a career in ultrasound? Here’s what you need to know about the education and training required to become an ultrasound technician.

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The Basics

Just like any other health care profession, becoming an ultrasound technician requires completing an accredited educational program. But what kind of classes will you have to take to become an ultrasound technician? Here’s a look at the basics.

What is an Ultrasound Technician?

An ultrasound technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who specializes in using diagnostic imaging to visualize internal organs, tissues and blood flow for pregnant women and patients with various medical conditions.

Becoming an ultrasound technician usually requires completion of an accredited training program, which typically takes about two years. Some sonographers may also choose to pursue additional certifications or a four-year degree in order to further their career.

What are the duties of an Ultrasound Technician?

The sonographer, also known as the ultrasound technician, uses ultrasound equipment to take diagnostic pictures, called sonograms, of patients’ internal organs. The sonographer may specialize in abdominal ultrasounds, obstetric and gynecologic ultrasounds or neurologic ultrasounds. Other sonographers specialize in breast ultrasounds or cardiac ultrasounds.

What are the education requirements to become an Ultrasound Technician?

To become an ultrasound technician, you will need to complete a formal education program. In most cases, this will be a 2-year Associate’s degree, although some 4-year Bachelor’s degree programs are also available. Once you have completed your educational requirements, you will then need to obtain certification or licensure in order to practice.

In terms of specific courses, you can expect to take classes in medical ethics, patient care, anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. You will also complete clinical rotations in order to gain real-world experience. Upon completion of your program, you will be prepared to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

The Classes

Although becoming an ultrasound technician does not require a four-year degree, taking classes is still necessary. The good news is that certification can be achieved in as little as one year. Many community colleges offer certification courses, and some even offer an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography.

Introduction to Patient Care

This class will teach you how to provide care to patients before, during, and after their medical procedures. You will learn how to take vital signs, review medical history, and provide emotional support. This class is usually taken in the first semester of the program.

Medical Terminology

You will encounter many new words while you are in training to become an ultrasound technician. In order to be successful, it is important that you take a medical terminology class and become familiar with the language of medicine.

This class will introduce you to the Greek and Latin roots of medical terms and help you understand how medical terms are put together. You will also learn how to use a medical dictionary, which will come in handy as you study for exams and when you are on the job.

Anatomy and Physiology

While in high school many students take a basic anatomy and physiology course. This is the study of the structure and function of the human body. Although this is not a necessary prerequisite, it is highly recommended that you have at least a basic understanding of how the human body works before you begin your training to become an ultrasound technician.

In college, you will be required to take more advanced courses in anatomy and physiology as well as other related subjects such as medical terminology, patient care, and ethical and legal issues in healthcare. These courses will provide you with the foundation you need to be successful in your career as an ultrasound technician.


Pathophysiology is the study of the changes in organs and tissues that occur as a result of disease. As an ultrasound technician, you’ll need to have a good understanding of pathophysiology so that you can identify abnormalities in your patients’ scans. You should expect to take several courses in pathophysiology during your training.

Ultrasound Physics

You can’t be an ultrasound technician without having a firm grasp of ultrasound physics. This class will teach you the basics of how ultrasound waves work, how they interact with different materials, and how to optimize them for imaging purposes. You’ll also learn about the different types of ultrasound equipment and how to use them effectively.

Image Acquisition and Analysis

In image acquisition and analysis, students learn how to capture diagnostic images of patients using ultrasound equipment. They also learn how to assess those images for abnormalities. This class is important for students who want to become ultrasound technicians because it gives them the skills they need to perform ultrasounds and interpret their results.


In conclusion, there are several different types of courses you can take to become an ultrasound technician. Some of these include: medical Terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, Introduction to Diagnostic Ultrasound, Principles of Sonography, and Clinical Observation. You can also choose to specialize in a certain area of sonography, such as cardiac sonography or vascular sonography.

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