The words “ultrasound technician” usually trigger the images of babies in the minds of the people. However, this is not only what this technician does. They do much more than just display sonograms of the foetuses to the expectant parents. Not many people are aware that this profession provides many opportunities. It is also likely to have more of them in the coming months.
You must be wandering what ultrasound exactly is. Well, it is sound waves of high frequency. The frequencies are higher than what our ears are able to detect. It is made use of in the field of medicine to see the images of the organs and of course, foetuses. The sound waves of high frequencies create images or sonograms that are used by doctors to observe as well as diagnose the problems in the organs and also observe growth, detect abnormalities and determine gender in the foetuses.
Here are some reasons why you should consider becoming an ultrasound sonographer. The programs related to training in this field are quite short. Usually the programs last in the range of 2 and 4 years. There are programs having durations of a year, however, those who are part of the field of medicine should go for comprehensive, longer programs. As the procedures as well as equipment change quickly in this sector, you would have to keep learning as long as you are in this profession.
You would get to work in the healthcare sector yet avoid some typical risks associated with the field. Those who are keen on working in the arena of medicine but do not have a comfort level when it comes to performing surgeries, handling blood, being exposed to diseases that are contagious or other factors that are part and parcel of the numerous medical professions, could become an ultrasound technician as this career would be ideal for them. This position involves explaining the processes to patients, assisting them in the correct position for ultrasound, putting gel on areas that would receive ultrasound and finally work the related equipment. You would have to record notes and process the ultrasound films on the procedures as well.
Ultrasound Technician Salary Outlook
An ultrasound tech is paid very well. As per the statistics released by the Labour Bureau on average, such professionals made $63,010 in the year 2009. Wage at the entry level is also good with regard to this occupation. They usually make $40,000 to $50,000 per year. The salary as per the experience of the professional would be as follows. An experience of a year would get you $30,000 – $55,000. Experience in the range of 1 to 4 years would get you $37,000 – $53,000. Experience of 5 to 9 years would help you to earn $45,000 – $70,000 while a very experienced professional who is part of the field since 10 – 20 years would earn anywhere between $52,000 and $72,000. State wise, the salaries to be earned are as follows. In California, the annual income would be between $47,000 and $67,000. In Georgia it would be in the range of $31,000 and $57,000. In Pennsylvania, you would be able to earn between $45,000 and $60,000 while in Texas the average yearly salary is between $34,000 and $60,000.
Sonographer Major Duties
Ultrasound procedures are safe. Safety is middle name of ultrasound equipment. The same could not be said about other instruments that are used for body imaging like CT scan or computed tomography and X ray. Ultrasound waves do not make use of radiation for creating images. They work on sound waves. Hence, there is no risk that an ultrasound technician faces as they do not have to face exposure to similar dangers as CT and X ray technicians. At the time of CT scans and X rays technicians are required to step out of the rooms in order to avoid radiation build up with every procedure that they administer. An ultrasound technologist is able to stay with the patient while the procedure is being carried out.
A sonographer gets to work in close contact with people. They are able to interact with patients, staff and doctors. Sometimes patients are worried or nervous and require consoling. Many might be talkative and want someone to chat with. Doctors require clear information with regard to the results. Hence, such technicians would get the chance to assist everyone.
Ultrasound Sonographer Careers
An ultrasound technician gets training in numerous sources. Employers are usually on the lookout for candidates who have their certificates from hospital training sessions, universities, vocational schools and colleges. Those who are graduates of accredited programs or schools are most successful when it comes to finding work.
There are many opportunities to advance in this sector. If you obtain more skills, there would be a higher demand for your services. Those who have leadership skills along with practical experience are able to advance to supervisory and managerial positions.
There are many applications of sonograms. Doctors make use of them for learning about the different body parts. They are used for ophthalmic, obstetric, gynaecologic, abdominal, mammographic and cardiovascular purposes. The scale of usage is increasing by the day. It is a safe and non-invasive way that doctors use for observing as well as diagnosing the inner functioning of a body.
An ultrasound technician is also known as ultrasonographer or medical diagnostic sonographer. The need for their services in the US remains strong today in spite of job market that has become challenging. These professionals are highly trained to specialize in making use of the latest equipment in diagnostic imaging to assess the symptoms of the patients and diagnose a number of health conditions. If you are looking at changing your career and think that the position of an ultrasound technician is ideal for you, you have to be aware of the fact that extensive education as well as serious commitment is necessary in this field. If health care is what interests you and if you love interacting with people, this job of an ultrasound sonographer would be perfect for you!