Maryland Sonography Tech Careers and Degrees
Sonogram technicians assist with the diagnosis of medical conditions by scanning patients with sound waves for the creation of images. Also known as ultrasound technicians, sonogram technicians need to obtain the proper education and licensing in order to practice legally in the state of Maryland.
Receiving Your Sonogram Technician Training in Maryland
Aspiring sonogram technicians need to earn an Associate’s Degree in Ultrasonography or a Bachelor’s Degree in Ultrasound Technology, which takes between two and four years at an accredited sonography school to complete. Sonographers should earn their degree at a college or university that has been accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and recognized by the American Registry for Diagnostic-Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Many sonography programs in Maryland require students to take precondition courses in anatomy, medical terminology, and physiology before acceptance into an accredited sonographic program. Depending on the program, coursework may cover topics like ultrasound physics, pathophysiology, vascular ultrasound, medical terminology, abdominal ultrasound, and obstetric/Gynecology ultrasound.
Students will learn how to use sonographic equipment, capture body images, calculate values, care for the sonographic equipment, and analyze the images captured, preparing them for employment opportunities in a fast-paced environment. Upon completion of the classroom education, aspiring sonogram technicians will need to participate in three to six months of clinical training, which provides them with a hands-on work environment where they can implement the in-class training and lectures to become successful ultrasound technicians in Maryland.
Sonography Technician Licensing in Maryland
State licensing is required for students to become legal sonographers in Maryland, protecting patients by testing individuals over proper communication, record keeping, and protection techniques. Practicing sonographers in the state of Maryland need to obtain licensure through the ARDMS by passing the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) examination. Individuals need to choose their prerequisite type and apply for the national exam. In order to apply for the examination, students need to graduate from an accredited college with a minimum of 60 semester hours, complete a mandatory internship, obtain full-time clinical experience over a 12-month time period, and provide proper documentation.
Career Outlook for Sonogram Technicians in Maryland
Studies show that the job outlook for ultrasound technicians is expected to increase by approximately 44 percent by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working in the diagnostic medical sonography sector requires individuals to be able to work long hours on their feet and assist with lifting disabled patients. Diagnostic medical sonographers generally work full time, evenings, weekends, and on call. Sonographers can find employment in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and imaging clinics, specializing in the following sectors of the medical field:
- Abdominal sonography to take images of patients’ abdominal cavities and other organs.
- Breast sonography to scan patients’ breast tissue for cancer and tumor detection.
- Musculoskeletal sonography to take images of patients’ muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
- Neurosonography to scan patients’ nervous systems and brain.
- Obstetric and gynecologic sonography to capture images of women’s reproductive organs and track babies’ health.
- Vascular and cardiovascular sonography to assist doctors with heart, vein, and artery diagnoses.
Because sonography technicians need to prepare patients for upcoming procedures, maintain the imaging equipment, analyze the images for proper diagnosis, and record the findings in the patients’ files, earning a diagnostic medical sonography degree at an accredited college is vital to becoming successful this field.