Ultrasound Technician Schools Newton – Find Best Sonography Programs 50208, IA

Newton, IA

Employment opportunities in ultrasound technology in Newton are projected to explode for trained, qualified professionals between 2014 and 2022, according to government data. For those considering the field, education is the first step. The following guide provides an overview of ultrasound technician school and degree programs, specializations and career avenues in Newton.

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Responsibilities of Ultrasound Tech

An ultrasound technician is a medical assistant or diagnostic sonography professional who maintains and operates ultrasound machinery in a hospital, doctor’s office, or health clinic. Ultrasound machines are used for both diagnostic and treatment of various medical conditions, as well as for preventive treatment. The main duty of an ultrasound tech is to make the physician or radiologist’s job easier by doing preparatory work or capturing images before the doctor comes in to see a patient. Ultrasound technician is a general term for someone working in the field of diagnostic medical sonography, which includes any use of sound wave-based imaging technology in a medical context.

Some of the main tasks you’ll be expected to do in most ultrasound tech employment situations are:

  • Patient Preparation: Escorting patients into the treatment room, describing the process of “taking an ultrasound,” taking images, and calling the doctor in when the preparations are finished.
  • Results Analysis: Determining whether the image is of usable quality, and taking more if not. Summarizing the number, type, and content of images that have been taken, and keeping a record of the information for the doctor or radiologist.
  • Equipment Operations and Maintenance: Preparing the ultrasound machine for each use, and cleaning and recalibrating it afterward. A professional technician will be needed to fix actual problems within the machine, but ultrasound techs do routine maintenance to assure that the machine is functioning properly and ready to use when a patient arrives.
  • Record Keeping: Write down the details of each patient’s visit, from the type of images taken to their content and the diagnosis or treatment that was suggested or given. Many doctor’s offices have specific employees to keep records and do other paperwork, but an ultrasound technician’s job inevitably involves some writing and paper pushing.

Though ultrasound technicians work in comfortable offices or clinics, they may need to spend long hours on their feet, operating ultrasound machinery, greeting patients, and fetching the radiologist or other resident physician to make interpretations and diagnoses.

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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 Newton 50208 Iowa

How do I Become a Medical Sonographer in Newton?

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 Newton. 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 Newton. 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 Newton, 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 Newton, 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 Newton

Required 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 (2012-2024) in Newton 42%
Median Salary (2015)* (Newton) $69,485
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Ultrasound Technician School: Degrees in Newton

With several options to choose from, which ultrasound degree in Newton 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 Newton

What’s the Job Market Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers/ultrasound technologists in Newton looks very promising. The projected job growth between 2013 and 2022 is 42% in the United States. (The average job growth projection for all occupations in the U.S. is 14%). This equates to over 23,000 new ultrasound tech jobs within this decade.

Ultrasound Technician Salary

In 2013, the median salary for medical sonographers was $61,117/year in Newton, according to the BLS. The BLS adds that the bottom 10% of ultrasound technologists made $43,85268/year, whereas the top 10% made $99,332/year  in Newton.

Numerous factors contribute to an ultrasound tech’s salary. Naturally the more experience you have, generally the more you will make. Certifications and higher education also lead to more advanced or specialized job positions which lead to higher compensation. Where you work also plays a role. For example, the BLS stated that in 2015, ultrasound technologists working in outpatient care centers made more than those in doctor’s offices, labs and hospitals. Finally, geographic location is also a factor.

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