The Career Of An Ultrasound Technician

Welcome to UltrasoundTechnicianExpert.com, your information resource for finding useful information about Ultrasound Technician and Medical Diagnostic Sonographer colleges near you. Well trained Ultrasound Technicians play a key role in today’s healthcare, performing integral procedures in a high growth and advancing industry.

An ultrasound technician is a very valuable job in the world of health care. Also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, an ultrasound tech uses special machines and equipment that operate on sound waves to determine or diagnose medical problems for patients. There are specializations within the field and some sonographers do branch off into these areas. Some specialize in pregnancy, heart health, gynecology, abdominal sonography and many others. Each of these specializations have varying duties but they all involve helping to give doctors the answers to what is going on inside the human body. Sound waves are highly accurate and capable tools in the fight against disease and conditions.

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Becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is an excellent decision where many exciting and rewarding opportunities will exist. As an in-demand Ultrasound Technician you will find opportunity anywhere there is a hospital, physician’s office, or medical clinic. In addition, a career in Medical Sonography provides the opportunity to work in a high growth industry with the latest technology while helping people everyday.

UltrasoundTechnicianExpert was created to provide information about how to become a Ultrasound Technician in your community as well as provide information about finding Ultrasound Technician jobs, ultrasound technician schools and more!

how to become ultrasound technician

What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Medical Sonography is a procedure performed by an Ultrasound Technician to inspect the internal organs of the body. The procedure uses a device called a transducer that emits high frequency sound waves into the body. The sounds bounce (or echo) off the targeted area and produce an image into the sonogram’s computer. This technique is used widely in pre-natal care as well as for the diagnosis of internal medical conditions. It has become widely popular due to it’s safety and effectiveness.

How do I Start a Career as an Ultrasound Technician?

Before starting a career in ultrasound technology, completing an education program from an Ultrasound Technician school will be required. Most often the training received will earn an Associate’s degree in the process and will prepare you to participate in certification exams. The training ensures you develop the required knowledge and skills for the job. Ultrasound Technician courses will include coursework anatomy and sciences in addition to training on ultrasound equipment and medical concepts. Also, valuable clinical experience will be gained by training first hand at the school’s partner hospitals alongside other professional ultrasound techs.

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What is the Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians?

Despite the economic downturn that has affected many businesses, the healtcare industry has maintained steady growth over the years. Like most healthcare professions, demand for trained sonographers is high. The occupation is poised for fast growth over the next ten years as the aging baby boom population stays active and the procedure is adopted across more medical facilities. Starting a career in ultrasound technology will ensure a stable future in the workplace where there is often uncertainty.

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There really has never been a better time to train as an ultrasound technician. Before starting a sonographer program, it is recommended that prospective students have a good understanding of the admissions requirements and programs available at sonography schools nearby. To determine this, students should seek out and contact schools in their area to request more information.

In addition you should also arrange to tour training facilities and meet with the faculty. From the information received during your visits you will have the information needed to compare the available options and better determine which school best suits your needs. The initial research is very a important step for finding a schools, courses, and teachers that are right for you and your career goals!

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While the job of ultrasound technician is a popular job in the health care field, there are still a fairly small number of people doing it.  Most estimates say that there are about 75,000 ultrasound techs working at a given time and of those, about half are working in hospitals. By far hospitals are the most common employers for sonographers but doctor’s offices are not far behind. You also might find a job as a sonographer in a lab or in various care centers such as rehab or nursing homes. These jobs are highly competitive and they demand a high level of attention and accuracy.

Most ultrasound technicians work a full time schedule, but they also can be found part time if you branch out to the various community resources. It is possible to provide your services to several places if you develop a reputation and have the contacts in place. Most employees will work a typical full time schedule, however. Nights, weekends and holidays are all usually required as people are sick twenty four hours and day and seven days a week.

How to become an Ultrasound Technician

To become an ultrasound technician, you don’t have to have a specific license as the program is not yet required. That said, it is nearly impossible to find a position if you don’t already have some medical training and certification from an organization like the ARDMS. This stands for American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and it is basically an exam and work experience combined. Most sonographers take a two or four year college program to become accredited or they learn in-house on the job. If you have a degree in nursing, for example, you might be offered the chance to learn ultrasound technology as well. This is a wonderful way to increase your pay and your resume.

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To become an ultrasound technician you have to have really good people skills. It requires people in very uncomfortable situations and often in a great deal of pain to put their trust in you. You have to be able to set their minds at ease and help them relax so that you can get a good reading. You need good coordination both in your hands and in your vision. You need to be in good physical condition as well. You could end up lifting or moving patients around and standing on your feet for very long periods of time. It also helps to have a strong countenance because you will be exposed at some point to death and injury. Extreme injuries can be a deal breaker for many people in the health care industry and sonography is no different. Make certain you are prepared for these types of things going in.

If you are interested in becoming a sonographer, the job outlook is pretty good. Job growth in this line of work is moving at warp speed and there should be plenty of great opportunities on the horizon for well trained ultrasound technicians. With a solid background and associates degree, you can expect to have a career that will pay you well. Advancements are looking brighter as well. If you are willing to specialize in a particular area of ultrasound technology, then you can certainly increase your wage requirements. Other opportunities include management and supervisor roles. These are always needed when a field is growing quickly. More sonographers means more managers to oversee them.

As for salary, the average sonographer earns around 65,000$ per year. That is an average across the United States but it may be higher or lower in particular areas.

ultrasound technician salary

State wise Salary Distribution

 

Job Description

Working as an ultrasound technician is very rewarding but it is also hard work. You spend your days walking a great deal and dealing with new patients repeatedly. You might also:

  • Work on the equipment to make certain that it is cleaned, accurate and prepared for the next patient.
  • Select the ideal positions and settings for the equipment to best get the results needed.
  • Move the patient around to get the proper images.
  • Explain what is going to be done to the patient and answer any questions.
  • Make judgment calls about whether the images are sufficient to diagnose the problems properly.
  • Decide what a particular doctor does and does not want in their images and then provide that.
  • Look for image areas that seem different or off and that should be pointed out to the doctor.
  • Stay up to date with the latest information and news in the industry.
  • Keep certifications up to date.
  • Supervise others that are working as sonographers.
  • Prepare and organize work schedules.
  • Manage a department or group of people.
  • Maintain patient information and records.

ultrasound technician job duties

These are only a handful of the duties that one might have to do in an average day as a sonographer. There are literally thousands of duties that could branch off of this rewarding career. If you are interested in this outstanding career, you should start to learn about health care and take courses that are related. Any courses related to biology, chemistry, health care or body systems would be of great use. Also, management courses can help prepare you to oversee entire departments in the future when you have the knowledge to teach others.

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Keep in mind that it is no pie job. Ultrasound technology is growing rapidly and it will require that you continue to learn and grow. If you want something challenging and rewarding that will keep you moving for a lifetime, then sonography might just be the job for you.

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