What Kinds of Classes Will I Take in Sonography School?
Sonography school equips its students for their professions with courses in anatomy & physiology (with lab work), instrumentation, basic physics, patient care and medical ethics, all key subject areas needed in the field. Prerequisites for sonography, though, often include basic classes like freshman English and college algebra, and the GPA you earn in foundational classes must be high enough to move on in sonography programs.
Training can take place in hospitals, vocational/technical institutions, and both traditional and online colleges offering 2- and 4-year sonography programs. Students earn associate’s degrees in the 2-year programs and bachelor’s degrees in the 4-year programs. As with other fields, a bachelor’s degree can expand job opportunities for students upon graduation, although the 2-year plan is more common. The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography recommends that students looking to earn a degree in sonography choose reputable, accredited programs that follow minimum curriculum and clinical education standards set by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
In 4-year programs, you will see other helpful courses like: Writing for Technology and Business; Medical Terminology; Concepts of Disease; General Psychology and Introduction to Human Communication. Foundational classes in sonography include Acoustical Physics and Sectional Anatomy. If you choose a general sonography track you will see a variety of specialization courses combined into the one track, like: abdominal, OB/GYN and breast sonography courses. Or you can specialize in one area and take more courses related to specific areas of the body. Examples are echocardiography and vascular sonography specializations and their related, in-depth courses.
When choosing a sonography program, the SDMS recommends you select one where you will have a chance to apply what you learn in the classroom in actual patient care settings, in clinical rotations. This is the most beneficial “classroom” you can experience—direct preparation for the job.
After taking these courses, those aiming to become sonographers should be able to obtain and review a patient’s history to help yield the best diagnostic results, perform procedures properly, record data from those procedures, relay vital information and observations to a physician, communicate effectively with patients and colleagues, behave in an ethical manner, educate patients about sonography and recognize abnormalities in tissues/organs.