In only 18 months at Cypress College, located in Cypress, California, you can learn how to operate high-tech machinery that could deliver life-saving test results for someone in need. This could launch you onto a fulfilling career path, but before you can reap the rewards of that education you need to follow a strict set of requirements that range from meeting admissions standards, to passing prerequisite courses and finishing your clinical education.

Get With The Program

During the first fall semester of the program, you must take Sonography Physics, Abdomen Scanning and a Sonography Externship. During the first half of the first semester, you take Cross-Sectional Imaging and for the second half, a course on Ethical Choices in Healthcare is taken. Clinical training is mixed in with classes for the spring semester, summer term and final fall semester. The program calls for OB/GYN scanning, pathology and small parts classes in the spring, Doppler techniques in the summer and a review in the final fall semester.

Limited Numbers

You must take the Sonography courses in sequence and maintain a C grade average throughout the program in order to qualify for the certificate. About 20 to 22 students a year qualify for the program. Students with high grade point averages on the prerequisite courses or who already have a radiology certificate have admissions preference over other applicants. If you aren’t accepted into the program, you can apply again the following year. There is no waiting list. Clinical training takes up about 24 to 32 hours Monday through Thursday with classroom instruction on Fridays.

Getting Down To Basics

While enrolled, you must complete a complement of basic courses before they’re admitted to the sonography program. These include: Radiologic Electronics, Radiography Patient Care, Survey of Medical Terminology, Survey of Disease, Anatomy and Physiology, Writing/Communication, Computer Information Systems, Intermediate Algebra and Medical Sonography Theory. A general physics course can substitute for the Radiologic Electronics course. Students must maintain a C grade in all the prerequisites to be eligible to enter the sonography program. Any of the prerequisites can be taken at another college except for Medical Sonography Theory. Not every course is guaranteed to transfer from another college to Cypress College.

How To Enroll

In order to be eligible for entrance to the sonography program, you must be at least 17 with a high school diploma or a GED and eligible to enroll at Cypress College. They must be in good health with transportation to the 12 clinic sites spread out across the Los Angeles / Orange County area. The college recommends high school biology and geometry, although they’re not required. The program covers general sonography training, not vascular training or echocardiography. Those who finish the program will be qualified to take the examination offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.