Joining the medical profession is as smart as enrolling in one of the sonography schools in California. Ultrasound technology is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States.
Doctors are using sonography to diagnose more patients every day. Whether it is cardiac, vascular or obstetric, ultrasound is an indispensable weapon in the doctor’s triage kit. More EMT response teams are using sonograms to rapidly and safely gauge the severity of injuries. A sonogram helps doctors diagnose blocked blood vessels, muscle and tendon injuries, birth defects, kidney stones and retinal abnormalities.
During surgery, sonographers give real-time images of procedures to reduce risk to patients. For instance, during a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, an ultrasound shows the placement of the needle in the tissue, ensuring accuracy.
Sonography schools in California offer a broad range of electives atop the core curriculum, such as health care management, neurosonography and applied procedures. The required classes to become a sonographer include:
- Physics and Doppler Physics
- Basic Patient Care, Safety and Commnuication
- Health Care Industry
- Gynecological and Obstetric Sonography
- Abdominal and Pelvic Sonography
- Vascular Sonography and Hemodynamics
- Cardiac Sonography
- Cardiovascular Pathophysiology
- Obstetrics, Pathology & Genetics
Over the two-year course of study, students learn to operate sonography equipment ranging from traditional in-office machines to ultra-portable machines, like those used by emergency rooms and ambulance teams. Basic and advanced anatomy and physiology coupled with Doppler imaging teach you how to read the images to identify healthy and unhealthy organs, muscles and blood vessels. Clinicals are the hands-on labs where all students exercise their knowledge and ability to give sonograms. Some schools offer sonography as a one-year course after the completion of x-ray technician two-year degrees.
Accredited sonography schools in California are scattered from Merced to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. To find the accredited school nearest you, search the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). ARDMS is the organization who offers voluntary certification through board testing in specific ultrasound fields, such as neurosonography. In California, certification is not required, but it will increase your rate of pay by demonstrating your knowledge. If you have already chosen your field, choose the sonography school offering the most classes in that field.
While there has been a proliferation of online schools which offer medical studies and sonographer assistant degrees, all are considered a waste of time and resources. Becoming an ultrasound technician requires the hands-on training of clinical, which cannot be satisfied through an online course. Clinical opportunities are limited through some schools. Choose a sonography school which offers the most clinicals to ensure you get the best education available in California.
Whether you are looking for a career in the obstetrical field, a doctor’s office or in a hospital, the sonography schools of California offer everything you need to be an active member of one of the fastest-growing fields of the health care industry.
These are the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician schools in California for your reference:
1. Charles R Drew University of Medicine & Science – Los Angeles, CA
2. Cypress College – Cypress, CA
3. Foothill College – Los Altos Hills, CA
4. Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences – Richmond, CA
5. Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, CA
6. Merced College – Merced, CA
7. Orange Coast College – Costa Mesa, CA
8. Santa Barbara City College – Santa Barbara, CA
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