Archive for January 2010
When most people think of ultrasounds, they think of pregnancy and the exams involving sonography to view a fetus. However, ultrasound technician degrees and study cover many other areas then just the belly. One common place an ultrasound may be used is on the brain. In todays blog we will talk a little about seasonal affective disorder. Commonly know as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression in which mood changes occur according to the season. The cause is not known, although it is thought that the changes in daylight levels may cause alterations in brain chemisty that affect mood. Typically the onset of winter brings depression, fatigue, lack of energy, cravings for sugary and starchy food, weight gain anxiety and irritability. These symptoms often causes individuals to withdraw from social activities. The symptoms then spontaneously clear up with the coming of spring. SAD can usually be treated with daily light therapy or antidepressants.
Once one earns a sonography degree, what can these professionals expect? Where should a student consider earning their training to become an ultrasound technician? These are all legitimate questions asked by many aspiring sonography technicians before you. There are many places one can receive their training to gain a sonography degree. One of the most common places is at a community college. Other good options are technical schools, hospitals, or universities. While some programs prefer to choose students that have specialized in science or health care background, these requirements are not set in stone.
Along with educational requirements is also the passing of required competency exams in each area. For example, there are a certain number of vascular exams (veins) and abdomen competency exams required.
How Long do most sonography programs last ?
The typical sonography program lasts around 18-24 months. Most programs are set up with the first year of full time coursework accompanied by part time clinical first hand experience. The second year of the program usually involves part time coursework plus additional part time clinical experience, usually about 32 hours per week.
Gaining a sonography degree is just one of the ways to break in to the Allied health field. It is never too late to follow your dreams.
Some current “hot topics” in the Sonography field are technology improvement and better machines. It seems these days that each facility is in a technology race to acquire the best and newest imaging equipment. Patients have demanded the best treatment and prefer the most up to date facilities. Some of the newest technology in this industry is called the 3D/4D ultrasound machines. You can imagine how much care expectant mothers take when choosing where they will receive their medical attention and check ups. Some mothers seem to be obsessed with pregnancy and care because they want what is best for the baby growing inside of them.
Internships and other forms of experience are preferred and should be considered as part of any students’ education because
internships, or clinical hours (or both), are a requirement of all sonography programs. Typically a student will choose to do a part time work internship, part time clinical hours throughout the course of their sonography program. Sometimes up to 32 hours per week of clinical experience is required. Another pertinent part of any students’ degree is the completion of a set of examinations for each sonography specialty.
Perhaps you are asking yourself, what board exams are required in order to become a registered in sonographer?
To be considered certified by the board of the American Registry for Diagnostic Sonography (ARDMS), they require applicants to pass three exams following their graduation from an ultrasound program: physics abdomen, and obstetrics/pelvis. Individuals may also choose to specialize in echo, vascular, breast or neonatal. There are board specified exams for each of these specialties. Passing any of these additional board exams will allow sonographers to perform other specific scans and may make them eligible for pay increases as well. Any basic sonography program will provide adequate preparation for the board exams that are administered. It is recommended, however, that graduates study for a few weeks prior to taking them in to brush up on previous class materials. These exams run the average cost of $200 per exam. Since there are three exams offered that could equal up to $600. This is why studying prior to an exam would be cost effective. Any increase in the chances of passing exams the first time around is recommended. A sonography/ultrasound degree is a good way to make money and have a rewarding career in the Allied Health field.