- Step 1: Make Sure Sonography is Right for You
- Step 2: Sonographer vs. Ultrasound Tech: Is There a Difference?
- Step 3: Explore Sonography Training Options
- Step 4: Apply & Enroll
- Step 5: Pass Your Sonography Classes & Labs
- Step 6: Find a Sonographic Specialty
- Step 7: Apply for Sonography & Ultrasound Tech Jobs
- Step 8: Prepare for the Interview
Sonographers and ultrasound technicians, terms often used synonymously for the same profession, play a crucial role in the healthcare system. They use diagnostic equipment to create images of patients’ organs, to determine if a health problem is present. There are several educational paths for people interested in sonography. From earning a certification to graduating from an associate or bachelor’s degree program, a number of options teach students the skills necessary to be successful, through both classroom and clinical work. Read on to see which path is right for you.
Make Sure Sonography is Right for You
Anyone thinking about a career move needs to ask themselves a few questions. First and foremost, does the career align with their skills, traits, and interests? When it comes to sonography, here are a handful of questions to get you started. See if this career makes sense for you.
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re ready to learn the next step in how to become a sonographer. Continue on to read more about this career choice.
Sonographer vs. Ultrasound Tech: Is There a Difference?
“Sonographers” and “ultrasound technicians” have the same job description and education requirements. People who want to pursue sonography need to understand exactly what sonography means and where the terms ultrasound and sonogram come into play.
Explore Sonography Training Options
People interested in pursuing a sonography career have several training options. There are various degree programs students can enroll in based on their education needs and goals, as well as different types of schools that offer sonography programs. The following is a deeper look at the options within sonography programs available to prospective students.
Certificate or Degree?
Students who study sonography may choose a certificate program, or a degree that takes longer to complete. The following provides information on these different types of programs.
The Right Sonography (or Ultrasound Tech) School for You
Depending on the type of training students intend to complete, they can enroll in a technical school, community college, or four-year college or university.
Pick Your Program
Choosing the right school to study sonography is a big decision, and it’s important that prospective students really think about what degree program and type of school is right for them. Once they have considered this, people should then ask themselves the following questions to help them make an informed decision on how to become a sonographer, and select the right way to earn the necessary education.
Ensure Your Program is Accredited
In order to ensure they are getting the education necessary to find a job in the field, prospective students should enroll in a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. When this organization accredits schools, it reviews the curriculum of the program, as well as visits the campus, to verify that students are getting the quality education necessary to meet the demands of the job, earn their certification, and land a position after they graduate. Choose a school that is certified in teaching ultrasound technology to get the best possible training in sonography.
Apply & Enroll
After deciding on your school, it’s time to start submitting applications. There are a few things to keep in mind as you begin putting your materials together.
Pass Your Sonography Classes & Labs
Sonography programs provide both theoretical and hands-on training, which allows students to develop a solid foundation to build their careers on. During the first part of the program, students take didactic courses, some of which can be completed online, to teach them the theories that will be the basis of their daily work. Depending on the program, these courses may cover gynecological, obstetrical, abdominal, and vascular sonography, as well as medical ethics, health care informatics, and patient care methods. In addition, students may be required to take a case study course that reviews how patient histories and sonography results are presented.
After completing these courses, students then move on to receive clinical training, which gives them hands-on experience with both routine and specialized types of imagining. In addition, students get the opportunity to get in-depth training on the specialty they want to focus their career on.
Find a Sonographic Specialty
There are several areas of sonography that professionals can concentrate on. In order to work in these specialties, a particular certification must be obtained. This section explores the different areas of sonography and the credentials professionals need to earn to work within a specialty.
Types of Sonography Certificates
There are three main bodies that issue certifications for sonography specializations. Here’s a look at these credentialing organizations and the process professionals undergo to earn a special certification.
Apply for Sonography & Ultrasound Tech Jobs
After sonography students have completed their education and earned their credentials, it’s time for them to start looking for a job. Just as with other fields, it’s important for job hunters to carefully craft their cover letters and resumes in order to attract the attention of potential employers. To do this, sonographers should focus on the things that are most important to health care organizations—such as education, professional experience, and volunteer work—when they create their resumes and cover letters. The following sites include examples of resumes and cover letters that people can use to guide them through this process.
- Sample Sonographer Resume from American College of Medical Careers
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Resume Samples
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Resume Example
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Resume Samples
- Sonographer Cover Letter
Prepare for the Interview
As sonographers prepare their cover letters and resumes, they should also start thinking about what they’re going to do in a job interview. It’s imperative that job candidates are equipped to impress potential employers. Think about the questions one might be asked during an interview, and consider the following options.
- How comfortable are you handling medical imaging equipment?
- Describe a time you successfully helped diagnose a patient.
- Are you confident with medical terminology?
- Are you able to work well under pressure?
- How would you handle a patient who is nervous about getting an ultrasound?
- How would you explain the ultrasound process to a patient who has never had one before?
- Why did you decide to become a sonographer?
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
- How comfortable do you feel working as part of a team?
- Why should we hire you?