Ultrasound Technician Schools Amarillo – Find Best Sonography Programs 79109, TX

Amarillo, TX

Ultrasound technician in Amarillo ranks among one of the highest salaries in medical field. According to the estimates of BLS.gov, diagnostic medical sonography is the 2nd best paying job that can acquire with an associate degree. High earning potential and great employment outlook make this medical profession the most popular choice.

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Ultrasound Technician: What You’ll Do

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, are responsible for operating equipment that produce and record images or conduct tests. These images are then used by physicians to make a diagnosis.

Most people are familiar with the role of an ultrasound technician as it relates to pregnancy, but sonograms are also used to examine breast tissue, brain and spinal cord and muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints and organs in the abdominal cavity.

Like other allied health careers, specialization is a possibility with sonography. Cardiac sonographers produce imaging of a patient’s heart, heart chambers, valves and vessels. A vascular sonographer is similar to a cardiac sonographer, but they focus primarily on blood vessels and blood flow.

An ultrasound technician’s job requires more than just producing an image. You’ll interact with patients by preparing them for the procedure. You’ll also need a keen eye; ultrasound technicians must be able to recognize normal and abnormal images.  Analyzing diagnostic information and providing it to the physician is a regular job task.

Ultrasound technicians work primarily in hospitals, physician’s offices and laboratories, but before you can get there, you’ll need to earn an ultrasound technician education.

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Are There Different Types of Medical Sonographers?

Because sonography is used on so many different areas of the body, most sonographers choose to specialize in one or more areas. These include: obstetric/gynecologic sonographers, who study the female reproductive system; abdominal sonographers, who inspect organs such as the gallbladder, bile ducts, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen and the male reproductive system; neurosonographers, who study the nervous system and the brain; breast sonographers who aid in mammography in order to detect breast cancer, track tumors, monitor blood supply conditions, and assist in biopsy of breast tissue; and vascular and cardiac sonographers, who study the heart and blood vessels.

Ultrasound Technician Amarillo 79109 Texas

How do I Become a Medical Sonographer in Amarillo?

There are multiple avenues to becoming a medical sonographer, including formal education from a college, university, or hospital; technical training at a vocational school; or training in the armed forces in Amarillo. No state requires formal certification for medical sonographers; however, certifying bodies exist, most notably the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), and many employers prefer certified sonographers because they have been held to a regulated standard. A sonographer can qualify to sit for the exam through formal education or work experience.

If you choose formal education, the types of programs available are:

Associate Degree – These two-year programs are offered at various colleges, and are the most prevalent degree in Amarillo. They also make up the majority of the 150 accredited programs nationwide. Coursework includes anatomy, physiology, instrumentation, physics, patient care, and medical ethics.

Bachelor’s Degree – A few four-year sonography training programs exist at colleges and universities in Amarillo, but they are much less common than associate programs. These programs are also accredited.

Vocational Certificate – Some vocational/technical schools offer one-year training programs in sonography in Amarillo, and some employers accept this as sufficient education. This avenue is mainly recommended for professionals who are already employed in the health field and seeking training in ultrasound to increase their marketability. A certificate may not be the best way to get started in the field.

Ultrasound Technician Career Overview in Amarillo

Education Associate’s degree is most common; certificate and bachelor’s degree programs also available
Certification Professional certification may be required or preferred by some employers
Projected Job Growth (2011-2024) in Amarillo 48%
Median Salary (2011)* (Amarillo) $69,223
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Ultrasound Technician School: Degrees in Amarillo

With several options to choose from, which ultrasound degree in Amarillo is best? Here’s a look at what each level offers.

Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography can open the door to entry-level positions in the field. Most programs last between 18 and 24 months.

In addition to learning about equipment, ultrasound technician students can expect to receive a heavy dose of patient care education. Since sonographers interact closely with people all day, they need a strong grasp on how to interact with a diverse group of patients.

Mastering legal, ethical and regulatory topics will also be necessary.

Bachelor’s Degree

Most ultrasound technicians hold an associate’s degree, but if you’re looking to advance your education earning a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography can offer great rewards.

The additional schooling will allow you to strengthen your problem-solving skills and get involved with research and projects. Some ultrasound technicians with BS degrees go on to pursue careers in medicine.

If a bachelor’s degree sounds like a logical step on your way to an ultrasound career, take note of the two options most schools offer.

Degree completion: These programs are specifically designed for sonographers who are part of a professional registry, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or those who have previous college credit. Most programs will also require that you are currently employed in the field.

If you haven’t taken certain general education courses, such as college algebra, social sciences and English composition, you’ll be required to complete these courses during ultrasound technician school. The professional courses will typically include:

  • Healthcare systems
  • Healthcare management
  • Fetal echo, neonatal and pediatric sonography
  • Musculoskeletal sonography
  • Breast sonography

You’ll spend much of your time in laboratory settings and most schools also require an externship at a local medical facility or lab.

If you already have your associate’s degree in sonography, there are bachelor’s degree completion options that allow you to specialize in areas like vascular sonography. Your time will be devoted to learning the intricacies of this specific track.

Four-year degree: Just starting out? For those without a previous degree or college credits, a four-year BS in diagnostic medical sonography is available. Like other BS degrees, you’ll take a combination of general education courses and classes specific to your major. The latter usually occurs in the last two years of the program, however, your initial coursework will prepare you with introduction science courses.

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ultrasound sonogram technician salary Amarillo

Employment Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians in Amarillo

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the  job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers in Amarillo, commonly referred to as ultrasound technicians, is very promising with a projection of 39% more positions available by the year 2021. The BLS adds that the median ultrasound technician salary in March 2015 was $66,998 annually; the top 18% among the ultrasound job market made over $92,176 and the lowest 11% made less than $46,435. With ultrasound technician demand expected to grow, salaries in turn should reflect the growing value placed on sonography within the medical world.

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Ultrasound Technician Schools in Nearby Cites :

  • Ultrasound Technician Schools Trenton – Find Best Sonography Programs 75490, TX
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  • Ultrasound Technician Schools Zephyr – Find Best Sonography Programs 76890, TX
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  • Ultrasound Technician Schools Bula – Find Best Sonography Programs 79320, TX
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  • Ultrasound Technician Schools Amarillo – Find Best Sonography Programs 79118, TX