What is Ultrasound?

Diagnostic Ultrasound is a non-invasive medical imaging technology that uses high frequency sound waves to form an image of body tissues. Information obtained from these images can be used along with other patient data in order to arrive at a medical diagnosis.

Ultrasound, when compared to other imaging modalities, like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography), is a relatively low cost, non-invasive procedure that does not utilize either magnetic fields or ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Who Works with Ultrasound?

Diagnostic Ultrasound is performed by a sonographer. Good sonographers have excellent communication and critical thinking skills, are able to work well with others, and perform well independently. Because diagnostic ultrasound is a progressive medical science, sonographers must be willing to maintain their knowledge and expertise through participation in continuing medical education. Sonographers work with radiologists, cardiologists, and other physicians in order to arrive at a diagnosis for the patient.

Where is Ultrasound Used?

Continuous improvement in ultrasound equipment dramatically improved image quality and ease of use that the technology is used in almost every branch of medicine. Today sonographers image many areas of the body, including:

  • Obstetrics
  • Gynecology
  • Abdomen
  • The Vascular System
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Prostate
  • Breast
  • Musculoskeletal

Diagnostic Ultrasound is also assuming an increasing role in the diagnosis of animal disorders in veterinary medicine.

Bellevue College Programs and Professional Licensure

The Bellevue College Diagnostic Ultrasound Program curriculum is designed to meet the educational requirements for national certification. Students who complete Bellevue College’s Diagnostic Ultrasound Program will be prepared to take the national exam for their area of focus, administered by ARDMS

WA does not require an additional license for ultrasound. States that require an additional license are New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon. Review the Sonography Licensure FAQs.

For additional information on Bellevue College healthcare program licensure, please visit the BC SARA page.

Last Updated March 15, 2022