Diagnostic medical sonography, also known as diagnostic ultrasound is a medical career that can provide a fairly good living without needing too much preliminary educational commitment. Sonographers must have a medical background, but nowhere near as much medical training as would be required for, say, a doctor or even a nurse. For this reason it is an attractive field for many people interested in health fields but who don’t have extensive financial or time resources to take up.
There are a number of different options for diagnostic medical sonography training and education. The following are a few:
Certificate/diploma programs are usually a year or so in length. They cover the basics but don’t go as in depth as longer term degree programs. Often an employer will hire someone who has completed a diploma program for an entry level or even relatively highly qualified position. The advantage of these programs over other types of programs is that they do not require as much of a time commitment and someone can get to working in the field more quickly.
Associate Degree Programs
2 year Associate degree programs are a common education route in the field. They go a bit more in depth into such topics as anatomy and physiology as well as the technical aspects of the field and the administrative aspects as well. They qualify individuals for a variety of medical sonography positions.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Though less common, some schools do offer Bachelor’s degree programs in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. These programs may also cover other aspects of ultrasound or medical imaging in general.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Schools
The types of programs mentioned above are offered at a variety of different educational institutions. These include community/junior colleges, 4 year colleges, career schools, technical schools, hospitals, and military based training establishments.
Is Free Diagnostic Medical Sonography Education/Training an Option?
It may prove difficult to find sonography training that is free of charge. Hospital based programs may allow you to get paid while training, but the likelihood is that they will charge fairly sizeable tuitions as well. You can, of course, read up on and study diagnostic medical sonography on your own, as with any other subject. While requirements to become employed do not include any legal stipulation making it necessary to get educated or certified before hand, employers generally expect an individual to have training before being hired. So while it is certainly possible to educate yourself in a background sense to a large degree in the field, you probably shouldn’t expect that to be enough to get you employed.
Choose the option that works for you as regards diagnostic medical sonography training. You have a certain amount of freedom to streamline your education since there are few legal requirements as regards employment. You will however need to get trained in order to have the reasonable expectation at being hired for a good job. So plan accordingly and find a program that offers quality education, that you can afford, and that works well in a practical sense.