California Ultrasound Tech Programs

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Check current course listings for campus-based and online Ultrasound Tech Programs available for California students.

New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.

How to Become a Sonography in California and Sonography Programs in California

Most people think about how to become a sonography in California after visiting a prenatal or neonatal care clinic. However, sonography programs in California actually prepare you to help patients under a wide variety of circumstances. "Sonography" refers to any technology that uses ultrasound technology to diagnose health. Ultrasound is especially good at detecting soft tissue, which ordinary x-rays and radiography tools generally cannot discover with as much precision. As a result, sonography and radiography tend to be complementary tools used at different times throughout California hospitals and clinics, and many professionals will have a background in both these disciplines.

The most recognizable manifestation of sonography in the medical world is used during pregnancy. However, there are other potential uses for sonography. It is used to help diagnose muscle damage for athletes and other patients who have experienced acute trauma. It is also used to provide a detailed view of the body before or during some invasive procedures that require tubes or other devices to be inserted into the organs. A sonographer will work closely with a radiologist, whose job will be to interpret the results of the sonography scan. Sonographers in California are not generally responsible for other medical functions such as diagnosis and treatment.

Although sonography is a lucrative career, it happens to be one of the easier ones to get involved in. This is unusual in California, which has codified extremely strict standards for most medical technology professions. A novice sonographer can begin his or her career after a year of training, although a two year associate's degree is advisable. The California Department of Health has registered over a dozen institutions spread throughout the state that can provide top quality sonography training recognized by CDH. Many of these are state and community colleges, which can offer training at UC medical centers. Others are hospitals or private pharmaceutical companies.

Sonography, like other technical disciplines in medicine, is expected to grow faster than average nationwide into the next decade. Sonography salaries in California tend to be somewhat higher than other medical technologists and can even be comparable to the salaries of medical professionals with graduate level training. The median salary for a dedicated sonographer at a California institution approaches $80,000, although starting salaries are often much lower. Experience is the key to unlocking higher pay in the profession. You should also pursue credentialing with professional bodies like the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and other membership associations to demonstrate your commitment to improvement.

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California Board of Registered Nursing
1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite N-217
Sacramento, CA 95834-1924
Phone: (916) 322-3350
Fax: (916) 574-8637

California Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technicians
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-7800
Fax: (916) 263-7859

California Nurses Association


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