The College of Southern Nevada–often abbreviated as CSN–is the only school based in Las Vegas that offers an ultrasound technician program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Although it offers three four-year degrees (Dental Hygiene,Cardiorespiratory Sciences, and Medical Laboratory Scientist), CSN is primarily a two-year institution, and it is the largest public higher education institution in the state.
SONOGRAPHY EDUCATION IN LAS VEGAS
At the College of Southern Nevada, aspiring ultrasound technicians enroll in the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Students can choose one of two tracks: Cardiac/Vascular Ultrasound or General/Vascular Ultrasound. Consisting of 92 credits, the Cardiac track is for those who wish to specialize in the cardiovascular system, of which the heart and blood vessels are two of the major components; they become competent in adult and pediatric echocardiography. On the other hand, students of the General Ultrasound track have to take 93 credits and are specifically trained in abdominal and obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) ultrasound. Each track requires taking general education courses in the following academic categories: Communications, English, Human Relations, Mathematics, Science, and Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the National Registry Exams for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, which is administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. When the student passes the exam, he or she attains the designation “Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer” (RDMS) if matriculating through the General/Vascular track or “Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer” (RDCS) if through the Cardio/Vascular track.
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SALARIES FOR ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGISTS IN LAS VEGAS
In a May 2012 report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that diagnostic medical sonographers in the Las Vegas metropolitan area had a mean annual wage of $70,580, or made $33.93 per hour. For the state of Nevada, the median annual salary for sonographers in 2012 was $73,000 ($35.12 per year), outpacing the national median by $7,100. The BLS estimated that there were 180 diagnostic medical sonographers in Las Vegas, thus making the city home to about 53 percent of the state’s ultrasound technicians.