What Classes to Take to Become a Sonographer?

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Sonography (also known as ultrasound) is a branch in the medical professions field in which individuals use sophisticated equipment to take images of a person's internal body parts. It is an excellent field for those interested in diagnostics, since the image data provides clues as to what may be wrong with a patient. This field requires specific types of courses--although each sonography program varies slightly in protocols, the majority of programs have basic elements.

Basic Science Courses (Prerequisites)

  • According to the Top Ultrasound Schools website, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Hillsborough Community College, sonography programs typically start with prerequisites in the sciences. These courses include classes such as human anatomy, biology, chemistry, physics and physiology. These classes introduce the student to how the human body works and serve as a foundation for applying sonography information. Some programs see these classes as so basic that admissions boards want to see that you've already taken them as part of high school, GED, college or other health care study. Other programs add additional levels of these courses during the second or subsequent year(s) of sonography study.

Other Basic Classes

  • The BLS, Top Ultrasound Schools and Hillsborough CC show that, in addition to science courses, sonography students may have to take classes such as English, history and computers. These classes enhance communication skills, provide a wider understanding of how and why ultrasound has developed and prepare students to use technology related to sonography and patient care. Since belief systems and social interactions influence how we think and act, and since the mind and body are very interconnected, sonography students also take classes in sociology, pyschology and philosophy.

Sonography Classes

  • Sonography students take classes that familiarize them with all areas of sonography. These include vascular sonography, advanced obstetrics, abdominal sonography, Doppler sonography, cardiac sonography and instrumentation, according to the BLS, Education-Portal.com and Top Ultrasound Schools. These classes teach sonography students how sonography techniques apply to specific areas of the body.

Medical (Non-Sonography) Classes

  • According to the BLS and Top Ultrasound Schools, sonography students may need to take non-sonography classes related to medicine, since they are part of the health care profession. For example, a sonography program might require courses in medical ethics, medical laws (e.g., the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA) and patient care.

Practicums and Internships

  • Practicums and internships are the last coursework a sonography student must take, according to Top Ultrasound Schools and the Ultrasound Technician Schools website. These courses provide hands-on training and provide an environment in which the sonography student may practice clinical skills and become more familiar with sonography equipment.

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  • Photo Credit injury image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com
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