What Does an Ultrasound Tech Major Include?

Find out what an ultrasound tech major entails and if it’s the right fit for you.

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The Basics

An ultrasound tech, or sonographer, is a medical professional who uses specialized equipment to capture images and data from inside the human body. The ultrasound tech major includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical ethics, and patient care. In addition, students will learn how to operate the ultrasound machine and how to take quality images.

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a medical imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs and structures of the body. The images produced by ultrasound are silent, black and white images. Ultrasound testing is used to evaluate the health of many different organs including the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, bladder, reproductive organs and fetus during pregnancy. It can also be used to guide needle biopsies and therapeutic injections.

What is an ultrasound tech?

An ultrasound tech, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a trained professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. The images are used by doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound techs typically work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They may also work in other settings, such as research facilities or pharmaceutical companies.

Most ultrasound techs have at least an associate’s degree from an accredited program. Some also have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Ultrasound techs typically have good job prospects. The employment of ultrasound technicians is projected to grow 24 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The Ultrasound Tech Major

The Ultrasound Tech major at ABC Community College is a two-year program that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a certified ultrasound technician. The program includes classroom and laboratory instruction in anatomy, physiology, physics, and medical ethics. Students in the Ultrasound Tech major also complete clinical rotations at local hospitals and medical centers.

What classes are required?

If you are planning to become an ultrasound technician, you will need to enrolled in and complete an accredited ultrasound technician program. Most programs will require you to take a combination of general education courses, as well as specific courses related to your major.

Some of the general education courses you can expect to take as part of your ultrasound tech major include:
-English Composition
-Public Speaking
-Anatomy & Physiology
-College Algebra
-Introduction to Computers

Specific courses related to your ultrasound tech major may include:
-Medical Terminology
-Principles of Imaging
-Patient Care Principles
-Abdominal Ultrasound Procedures
-Sectional Anatomy
-Ultrasound Physics

What is the job outlook for ultrasound techs?

The job outlook for ultrasound techs is favorable, with a projected growth rate of 24% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary for ultrasound techs was $71,650 in May 2019.

The Future of Ultrasound Tech

An ultrasound tech program can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to start a career in this growing field. Ultrasound techs use special equipment to create images of the inside of the body and they often work in hospitals or clinics. If you’re interested in a career in ultrasound tech, read on to learn more about what this major includes.

What new technologies are being developed?

New ultrasound technologies are constantly being developed in order to improve image quality and make the diagnostic process more accurate and efficient. Some of the most promising new ultrasound technologies include:

Elastography: This technology uses sound waves to evaluate the elasticity of tissues, which can be helpful in identifying malignant tumors.

Doppler elastography: This technology combines standard Doppler imaging with elastography to provide information about both blood flow and tissue stiffness.

Shear wave elastography: This is a newer form of elastography that uses very high-frequency sound waves to assess tissue stiffness.

What new applications for ultrasound are being explored?

Doppler ultrasound, 3D/4D ultrasound, elastography and intravascular ultrasound are some of the newer applications for ultrasound that are being explored. In addition, handheld and point-of-care devices are becoming more prevalent. While these devices will never replace the diagnostic capabilities of full-size machines, their portability makes them ideal for use in emergency situations and for general screening purposes.

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