Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if a sonography degree is right for me?
Several books can provide you with an overview of the profession, explain the curriculum and explore the different types of available degrees.
How to Land a Top-Paying Breast Sonographer Job by Elizabeth Kim is especially helpful if you are exploring the best degree programs. This book offers tips on resumes, cover letters, salaries and more. It should help you determine which colleges offer the best program for the job you want. Additional books in the series offer similar information on cardiac and abdominal sonography.
I Saw Elvis in My Ultrasound by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman is an 87-page comic about having a baby that pokes fun at finding an image that looks like Elvis in an ultrasound. Since many sonographers will be performing prenatal abdominal ultrasounds, this offers a lighthearted look at sonographic imaging and the images sonographers may find.
What are some online resources that will give me ideas about how to use a degree in sonography?
Professional associations and organizations can provide you with the most beneficial information on how to stay current on new skills in the industry. While there are several professional sonographic associations, the following are the most influential.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
develops and administers the examinations that certify individuals as professional sonographers. It provides information regarding the requirements for certification after earning an accredited sonography degree online or through a campus program.
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) sets and promotes the appropriate standards of quality for all sonography colleges, including online sonography degree programs. It elevates the standards of excellence to ensure better patient care when creating the best sonography degree programs
The American College of Radiology provides continuing education classes for radiologists and sonographers. It also works to maximize the value and quality of the practice by conducting research. It provides information on advancements in radiology and related professions like sonography.
A popular blog among sonographers, radRounds, delivers vital information on anything from conferences to events and serves as a useful tool for networking.
What organizations accredit on-campus and online sonography degree programs?
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits online and on-campus allied health education programs, as does JRC-DMS, which gets its accrediting power from CAAHEP. While JRC-DMS primarily focuses on the standards and guidelines for the accreditation of sonography programs, CAAHEP focuses on the accreditation of all allied health care professions.
CAAHEP provides information on accredited programs through its search engine that allows you to locate in-state online programs. This is a valuable resource since many online sonography degree programs require you to complete on-campus clinic hours and practice sonographic imaging in person. Accredited online programs ensure you receive supervised clinical practice scanning patients, analyzing ultrasounds and applying the concepts learned from class.
Medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, for example, are reinforced by identifying the appropriate body parts to scan. Advanced care skills are also developed as you communicate with patients. Supervision during clinic hours ensures the proper development of these skills and follows the standards established by CAAHEP.
Is a degree in sonography recession proof?
The basis of this question is centered on 3 concerns: whether the sonography profession will be viable in a recession, the availability of jobs and whether or not a sonography degree prevents being laid off.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of diagnostic medical sonographers will increase by 44% between 2010 and 2020. This is nearly a 50% increase, which indicates growth and demand for the profession, perhaps even in a recession. This expected increase in the profession is due to advancements in medical technology, replacing more invasive diagnostic methods with sonography. Consequently, several job openings should become available, indicating the need for sonographers.
A degree, however, does not automatically guarantee safety within the job market. Generally, online degrees are regarded as less reputable. This is mainly based on perception. If you are earning a sonography degree in a down market, you can remain competitive if you become licensed and registered in the field.
Passing the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam is not only critical to remaining competitive, it also certifies you as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer. If you are certified and registered, a degree from an online sonography program should not be a hindrance in the job market.