The ultrasound tech has the responsibility to initially diagnose patient’s diseases by the use of the sound waves from the ultrasound machines. Aside from helping the doctor to diagnose diseases, the ultrasound technician is also expected to have a good communication skill because patient interaction part of his responsibilities. When comparing the job description of the ultrasound tech with the job description of the physical therapist, the latter demands more rigid work than the medical sonographer. The physical therapist is responsible in easing out or lessening the pain, hasten mobility and decrease the discomfort of patients with physical disabilities. Among their responsibilities are applying massages and electrical stimulation, traction and ultrasound to the patients which need their services. Patients who have disabilities, accident victims, and those that are suffering from unbearable pain trust their lives in the hands of a physical therapist.
The work of the sonographer requires standing during the times when the patients are subjected to ultrasound sonography testing. Exerting effort in helping out the patients lay in a position where he is able to get clear images of the organs damaged is also among his responsibilities, which require physical effort. The physical therapist needs more effort than the ultrasound technician because the physical therapist needs to do heavy lifting and standing for long periods while massaging his patients. Stooping and kneeling for a long time is also among the physical efforts he needs to perform while making the life of his patients more comfortable.
Training and education
Ultrasound technology offers several degrees and programs in order for people to be qualified as ultrasound technicians. A student can become a technician in as early as one year. There are certificates for 12 months or less, two-year associate degrees and four year-bachelor degrees. These degrees can be taken either in school or through online programs. While for the physical therapy student to be accepted to do the work, he needs to have a master’s degree and a state license to practice. There will be stricter policies requiring physical therapist to have doctorate degrees but for the mean time, there are over 200 programs, which are offered to have accredited degrees for physical therapy.
Job opportunities for both fields are increasing due to the advancement of technology and increasing number of old-aged patients. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2016 there would be an expected employment growth of 27% for the physical therapy field while a growth of 18% is expected for the sonography from 2008 to 2016.
The salary of physical therapist is higher than the ultrasound technician salary. The ultrasound tech is expected to have a yearly salary ranging from $55,000 to $80,000 depending on several factors while the physical therapist is expected to have a yearly income ranging from $70,000 to $85,000.