New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.
How to Become a Sonographer in Missouri and Sonography Programs in Missouri
Diagnostic medical sonographers use medical imaging technology for diagnostic purposes. This process, known as a sonogram or ultrasound, can be used on nearly any part of the body from the head to the abdomen. The sonographer has the important task of not only operating the equipment, but also capturing the right images for the patient's individual needs. Job duties of a diagnostic medical sonographer include maintaining the equipment, preparing patients for procedures, recognizing and recording any abnormalities, and keeping detailed medical records of each procedure. If you're interested in learning about how to become a sonographer in Missouri and sonography programs in Missouri, read on.
An associate's or bachelor's degree is preferred for a career in diagnostic medical sonography. If you have an education in another healthcare field such as nursing, you may be able to practice as a diagnostic medical sonographer with a certificate in this field. There are many training programs in Missouri that are appropriate for this career. Students who already have an associate's degree in a related field can complete a diagnostic ultrasound certificate at Rolla Technical Institute in just 18 months. Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center offers a similar certificate program that takes 19 months to complete with full-time schooling.
Applicants with an associate's degree can enroll in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography course at St. Louis Community College. This certificate program can be completed in three semesters. The first two semesters focus on classroom learning. The final summer semester provides a clinical rotation. The program offers a total of 42 credit hours. Students who don't have an associate's degree yet can pursue a complete education in diagnostic medical sonography at the University of Missouri. This school offers a bachelor of health science and master of health science in diagnostic medical sonography. This master's program is the first of its kind in the country.
After completing an approved educational program, graduates can apply to become members of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. State licensure isn't required, but greatly improves the candidate's employability. Additional certifications are available for specialties in sonography. The job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities will increase by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020. In Missouri, the annual mean wage for this career was $63,430 as of May, 2011. This is about $30.50 an hour. The 10th percentile for annual wages in this field was $47,810 while the 90th percentile was $80,550 in Missouri.
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Missouri State Board of Nursing
3605 Missouri Blvd.
P.O. Box 656
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656
Phone: (573) 751-0681
Fax: (573) 751-0075
Missouri Nurses Association