Ultrasound Technician: Worthy Career

Capturing internal images of the human body is very important in the field of medicine, particularly because it helps doctors diagnose the medical condition of patients. This is how ultrasound imaging is used in the medical field and the responsibility of operating sonography equipment lies in the hands of an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. A lot of people like to associate sonography with pregnant women, as it is used to check the status of the unborn child inside them – but the truth is that this imaging procedure has a wide range of applications in capturing images of the abdomen, breast, muscles, and the nervous system.

When stationed in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, diagnostic medical sonographers prepare patients for the imaging procedure by taking note of their medical history and explaining to them the details of the procedure. Before the procedure starts, a special type of gel is applied to the area to be scanned so that the imaging equipment will generate images better. The technician will be the one to guide the transducer over the patient’s body so that images can be captured and will be displayed over the sonographic equipment. The resulting images are then analyzed by the sonographer so that he can provide initial findings for doctors.

A big number of sonography tech find employment in private, local, or state hospitals, while others work in doctor’s offices, medical and diagnostic facilities, and outpatient care facilities. Since they interact with patients on a regular basis, they need to have excellent communication skills so that they can properly explain the imaging procedure and help patients to be calm. Patience will also be a valuable trait any sonographer must have, especially since you will be dealing with all sorts of patients, including those that are quite stressful to deal with. As a member of the healthcare team, you must also express a genuine concern for patients in order to help them cope up in the midst of their medical condition.

Becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer will, of course, require going through a formal training program. The minimum level of education you must attain is an Associate’s Degree, which will typically take you 2 years to complete. There are also some schools which offer a shorter Certificate program, but this is only ideal for individuals who are already working in the field of healthcare. It is very important that you take up a training program that is accredited – this way you can be sure that you will be receiving quality training. If you are currently in high school, it will serve you well to take up courses in mathematics, physiology, and anatomy.

The salary of an ultrasound technician will significantly be influenced by his educational attainment and other factors such as certification, geographical location of workplace, and years of experience. According to the PayScale.com website, diagnostic medical sonographers with less than a year of experience are capable of earning somewhere around $30,000 to $55,000 per year. The job outlook for this career is very promising with an employment growth rate of 44 percent through the year 2020. Excellent employment opportunities await aspiring sonographers with the continued evolution of ultrasound imaging technology. The demand for this career is also fueled by the fact that ultrasound imaging is considered a safer choice as compared to radiation-based or invasive imaging procedures.