Welcome to Ultrasound-Technician.net and congratulations for taking the first step of many to enter into a career as an allied healthcare professional in a high demand medical field. Ultrasound tech or sonographer is one of many fast growing fields in the world of medicine. There are a variety of colleges and universities that provide the education you will need to become a qualified sonographer.
Ultrasound Technician FAQs
What is an ultrasound tech and what do they do?
What type of training would I need?
How much would I make?
What is the job outlook for this position in the future?
Ultrasound Technology Defined
Ultrasound technicians are also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer and ultra-sonographer. Having a career as an ultrasound tech will mean that you will be specialized in cutting-edge ultrasound technology used to examine much of the body’s internal organs. Through the use of ultrasonography diagnostic imaging, you will be able to use this form of imaging to view the patients’ blood flow, tissue and other organs to complete the patient’s diagnosis. A more well-known example of ultrasound being used in the medical field is it use with mothers-to-be. Through your knowledge of ultrasound technology you will be able to show new moms and dads a glimpse at their newborn as they grow and develop within the womb.
Over the years studies have shown that by using sonography there will be less need to use more invasive methods to determine and understand the status of functions within the body such as heartbeat, circulation of blood through the body, etc.
Ultrasound Sonographer Duties and Responsibilities
As an ultrasound tech you will be responsible for making use of sonography equipment to assist in patient diagnoses in a hospital, clinic or other health facility environment. Some other daily tasks include:
- Meeting and speaking with patients about their medical history
- Provide a brief overview of the procedure
- Guide the patient of the proper body scanning position
- Scanner programming and adjustment
Career Options for Ultrasound Technicians
As the world changes the medical field changes and grows right along with it and so does the demand for trained diagnostic medial sonography/sonographers. This is partly due to the longevity of people around the world and our growing population. When you make the decision to enter into the field as an ultrasound tech you are telling your potential employers that you are a person who has knowledge of the field and are committed to providing quality patient care.
What Makes Ultrasound Technology So Popular?
As stated above, ultrasound technology is noninvasive, and unlike traditional surgical procedures, that can be expensive and time-consuming, providing a reading through ultrasound imaging is painless and relatively much faster. Once the ultrasounds readings are complete and the gel applied by an ultra-sonographer during the process has been wiped away all the patient needs to do is return to their life and not suffer from any possible side effects. Ultrasound technology is also considered to be less harmful than methods that may cause the patient to suffer ill effect from radiation like one would through the use of X-Rays. The group of people that can further benefit from noninvasive ultrasound technology is the elderly population that, with the rest of the world, continues to grow.
The reason for the success of the sonography field, or any other medical field, is that regardless of the changes and trends that abound the medical field, there will forever be a need for healthcare professionals.
Salary and Work Environment
A majority of ultrasound techs will work in private healthcare facilities, hospitals, diagnostic imaging clinics, etc. However, as advancements with technology continue to proper, it has allowed for procedures and ultrasound equipment to be used outside the work settings mentioned above. Now sonographers can be found in various other settings around the world like birthing centers and physicians’ offices around the county.
According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the average annual salary of an ultrasound tech was approximately $61,980 in May of 2008. On the low end an ultrasound technician would make around $43,600.
The working environment for ultrasound technologists are closely monitored through a partnership with the OSHA (United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography). As an ultrasound tech, the work you perform is delicate, so this may make you more susceptible to work-related MSD’s (Musculoskeletal Disorders), more information on this can be found via OSHA’s website. You can also contact them via one or all of the following methods:
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210
Email or Call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)
OSHA has specific guidelines in place to ensure all employers and employees can minimize the risks of ultrasound technicians being involved in work-related MSD’s. They offer their assistance through proper equipment trains and forum participation. This will also allow for you to stay updated on all current issues within the ultrasound tech field.
Last Edited by – C. Ross Taylor 2nd August 2012