An ultrasound tech, also called medical sonographer is among the most renowned positions in the field of medicine third only to doctors and nurses. This job comprises plenty of responsibilities and duties.
Sonography involves creating images with the help of sound waves. Sound waves having high frequency are made to pass through the body of the patient. Such sound waves get reflected on the tissues and organs, creating images on the monitor.
An ultrasound sonographer first prepares the patient prior to the procedure by taking in their medical history and then putting them in the right position. The ultrasound technologist then sets up the equipment. They spread gel on the body part that is to be scanned. They place a transducer on the part of the body that is being imaged. The transducer is responsible for transmitting sound waves.
During the procedure, the ultrasound tech checks for abnormalities in the particular area and records all findings. They also check the clarity of the visual representations and choose the ones that give clear pictures. In the past sonograms gave images that were flat however, with advanced technology of today 3D as well as 4D images are also available.
Neurosonography comprises the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Abdominal sonographers evaluate the kidneys, gall bladder, liver, spleen, and the other organs that are present in the abdomen. The blood vessels are studied in echocardiography while those who assess the reproductive systems in females are specialists in the field of gynecologic and obstetric sonography. The ultrasound career is wide ranging. You could choose the area or field that interests you and specialize in that.
You would come across a variety of programs to train as an ultrasound technologist. The programs are ideal for people who possess education or diploma from high school. High school learning is required for those want to become ultrasound technicians because subjects such as physics, anatomy and biology are taught in high school. This is preparatory for the course. The next step would be to search for accredited institutes that assure you of efficient and great training and education.
Sonography training schools offer associate degrees with courses spanning 2 years while the bachelor’s degree spans 4 years. The schools offer courses and programs in physiology, patient care, ethics and more. You need to get a license, which is optional in many states. However, if you have a certificate, prospective employers would look at it as proof that you are proficient having the required skills.
The salary depends on a number of factors such as geography, facilities, experience and education. The mean annual salary of an ultrasound technologist is $60,000. The hourly salaries could be approximately $30. Those who have experience of less than 4 years have salaries in the range of $40,000 and $50,000 annually. Those who have experience of over 10 years would get $70,000 to $80,000. Newcomers would get $22 an hour while an ultrasound tech with more experience would get $35 an hour.