When you begin your educational program, the best ultrasound technician courses may not be what you are expecting. You will take math and physics in addition to all the courses supporting the various areas of sonography. The basic ultrasound technician curriculum will include several courses in physics and didactic courses in pelvic, vascular, abdominal, small parts and obstetric sonography. You will also take courses in patient care. In addition to your classroom work, you will be expected to undertake several clinical rotations. If you are thinking about earning your ultrasound technician degree online, make sure that the online program offers coursework that includes these subjects.
Some of the most common core classes that you will take in your ultrasound technician program include:
Each area of sonography will be divided into its own ultrasound technician class, and each program will present these in its own order. You will study imaging techniques for pelvic, vascular, abdominal, small parts and obstetric sonography. You will learn to discern the difference between healthy and abnormal organs and blood flow. You will be able to identify abnormalities so that you can give an initial assessment to the physician and thus help set the course of treatment.
Physics is 1 of your ultrasound technician course requirements that at first you may find irrelevant, but you will eventually discover that it is your most helpful class because everything you do in sonography has to do with physics. All of the motions you perform with sonography equipment is related to physics, including touching certain buttons or choosing certain transducers. The more you understand physics, the better your work will be.
One of the top ultrasound technician courses is anatomy, which opens up the human body to your understanding. As you come to learn how the body works, you will better grasp what you are looking for when the patient undergoes ultrasound. You will study the body section by section in tandem with techniques for using ultrasound and, once you have mastered all the medical terminology, be able to speak knowledgeably with the rest of the medical staff about the image and diagnosis.
The best programs should offer designated classes for ultrasound technician students in patient care. An ultrasound technician will often have to deal very closely with their patients, first taking a history and explaining the procedure and answering questions, then, depending on the procedure, discussing the image on the screen. You may also need to lift patients onto tables, adjust them into position and then help them down afterwards. It is critical that you learn to communicate effectively with a diverse group of people experiencing a range of emotions. For many in sonography, patient care proves to be the most important class in the ultrasound technician curriculum.
In addition to core classes, your ultrasound technician program will include elective courses on topic like the following:
In some programs, this might be one of your required ultrasound tech courses, but if it is not, you should prioritize it as your top elective. Psychology complements your patient care classes, teaching you aspects of behavior and thought patterns so that you understand what a patient under certain circumstances might be thinking or feeling, and how you can work with them and help them be calm and focused for the procedure. It might be a nice break from the rigor of your required ultrasound technician classes and will prove invaluable when you begin work.
Oral communication might also be one of your required ultrasound technician classes, depending on your program, but it should certainly be something you seek out while in school. You may be surprised when you enter the workplace at how difficult it is to effectively communicate with doctors and other members of the medical staff.
You are expected to hit the ground running and show off what you have gained in your 2 years of training, so you will not have a lot of time for mistakes. Taking the time to master communication skills can make the work of all your top ultrasound technician courses pay off even more than you expected.
You may think that you are already adept at typing if you frequently use a computer, but your job will entail a lot of typing that must be swift and accurate, especially when it comes to maintaining patient records. When you step away from your sonography classes and master excellent typing skills, you will find that it makes your work better and more efficient.
The top ultrasound technology courses will ground you in all the important aspects of sonography and teach you physics, anatomy and patient care. When you are not on rotation, you should take electives such as psychology, communication and even typing to complement your required ultrasound tech classes and help make you a better tech from your first day at work.