Ultrasound technicians, as the name implies, are medical imaging experts that specialize in Ultrasound. Specifically, they are properly trained on how to direct the ultrasonic waves in various parts of the patient’s body. This imaging technique is used to help doctors in the assessment of the medical condition of different internal organs as well as the development of the fetus.
Being a non-invasive diagnostic procedure, Ultrasound is preferred over the other procedures. And with the advancement in this medical imaging technology, the level of competency and the demands from technicians have also increased.
The role of ultrasound technician in Chicago IL is critical as doctors become more reliant on the ultrasound reports for their diagnosis. Thus, the training for professional technicians continues to evolve and extensive experience in this medical imaging technique is now a mandatory requirement of most employers.
Because of the necessity and importance of the ultrasound report, the operators must possess a strong knowledge and understanding of human physiology and anatomy on top of their competency in the use of the imaging technology.
In order to generate accurate and quality reports, ultrasound technicians must have the skills so that they can properly position patients and generate quality and correct images. They must also be able to correctly differentiate the abnormal from the normal anatomy.
They are generally employed in hospitals and other medical facilities. They usually work in a stationary location within the diagnostics section of the hospital or perform mobile diagnostic procedures at the bedside of patients whose conditions prevent them from being transported.
There are some technicians who work in diagnostic imaging clinics for outpatients and privates offices of physicians. Most ultrasound techs work full-time, although there are those who work part-time or adopt flexible work schedules.
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What Are Ultrasound Technician Requirements in Chicago IL
Those who want to pursue a career as professional are required to complete the accredited training program and earn either a post-graduate certification or an associate’s degree. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or CAAHEP is the body that accredits training programs for ultrasound technicians. These programs are offered in vocational and technical schools, community colleges and hospitals.
If you are interested in taking a post-graduate training program, then it is essential that you adopt a curriculum that is focused on math, computer and science courses. Suffice it to say, familiarity with the operations of the computer is a basic requisite as the imaging technology is computer-based.
Those who have credentials in other allied health competencies may complete a 12-month training program on sonography and earn a certification in ultrasound technology. Online training programs for ultrasound tech in Chicago IL are another option if you want to be a certified technician.
However, you must choose an online training program that is accredited and recognized by the American Registry in Radiologic Technologists or ARRT. It is also important that you choose the program that offers extensive clinical internship.
After completing the Ultrasound technician training, students must take and pass the competency examination that is conducted by the ARRT.
Finding Ultrasound Technician Schools in Chicago IL
There are various training programs for ultrasound technicians that are available as an undergraduate certificate or an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. These programs consist of coursework that focus on ultrasound technology, medical assisting and medical sonography.
These accredited programs provide the knowledge on various diagnostic procedures and the skills needed by students in order to operate diagnostic equipment. Students will also learn how to read or interpret diagnostic imaging results as well as the proper way to interact with their patients.
The training for ultrasound technicians in Chicago IL consist of courses in proper patient care, human physiology and anatomy, ultrasound physics and clinical practicum course. Students who want to work can take the accredited 4-year program in universities or consider any of the accredited online training programs.
In addition to the course included in the core curriculum, the program shall also offer specialized courses along the field of specialty that you have chosen. Examples of specialized competencies for ultrasound technicians are in the areas of abdominal sonography and obstetric sonography.
Ultrasound Technician Salary in Chicago IL
With the major advancements in medical imaging technology, the demand for highly skilled ultrasound tech has increased dramatically over the last 5 years. Industry experts predict that this trend will continue at least for the next 10 years.
The job prospects for those who are intending to pursue a career in field of diagnostic medical sonography are expected to improve as concerns about the effects of radiation tend to shift the preference of patients to less invasive and safer diagnostic procedures like the ultrasound.
According to the BLS report, the median income per annum of ultrasound technician in 2010 is more than $64,000. On the other hand, the average income of the top ten percent earners was pegged at $88,490 and the lowest 10 percent earners had an average income of $44,900.
In terms of work setting, ultrasound technicians in Chicago IL who work at outpatient care centers have the highest income and those working in private offices of doctors and hospitals came in second and third, respectively.