Jun 13

Surgical Technician – Career, Scope, Job Description, Salary

A surgical technician is also known with many other terms like ‘Scrub’, ‘Surgical Tech’, ‘Surgical Technologist’ and ‘Operating Room Technician’. Working in several environments, these professionals are in a major demand in all health care organizations that involve in surgeries and foremost operations. The job is a highly paid one and requires a lot of dedication and focus. If you are planning to pursue a career in this field, you have come to the right place where we will walk you through the various questions running in your mind. Read further to get a clear understanding on surgical technicians.

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Surgical Technician ?

A surgical tech is a professional who assists surgeons in the operation theatres during surgeries. In a nutshell, their responsibility for a surgery starts with preparing the operation room for the surgery and ends with post operation care of the patients. Let us have a better insight on the duties they have to perform before, during and after any operation.Surgical Technician career

  • Getting the operation room ready – Before the operation begins, a surgical technician has to ensure that the equipments required for the surgery are readily available in the operation room. This includes arrangement of surgical items, sterilizing required tools and ensuring adequate supply of all necessary tools and proper functioning of these tools during the operation. They are also required to disinfect the incision areas of the patient in order to make the patient ready for the operation. Once the patient is ready for the operation, the scrubs place the patient on the operating table and cover them with a sterile cloth.
  • Helping the surgeons during the operation – Surgical techs are required to help the surgeons by passing the required supplies of tools at various times that will be used during the process of the operation. Certain operations require holding of reactors or even the organs of the body in place while the surgeons are operating. The surgical techs come handy while they help the surgeons to perform the operation flawlessly by taking care of these tasks. A responsibility that every scrub should naturally possess is to constantly monitor the position and the signs from the patient while the surgeons are busy performing the operation.
  • Post operation handling – After the surgery is completed, the surgical techs count the number of tools before and after the operation to ensure that there was no accidental misplacement of any of the tools. They are also responsible for applying bandages and dressings near the incision areas. In some cases, the operating assistants may also be required to shift the patients from the operation theatre to their respective rooms after the surgery and post surgery tasks are completed.

Surgical Tech Logo

Educational requirements for starting a career as a Surgical Technician

Certain educational requirement is mandatory for applying for the post of a surgical technician. There are some courses or certifications which you may opt to take up to stand out from the other candidates.

  1. Mandatory educational requirements – The minimum educational requirement for starting a career in this field is to complete the high school diploma or a pass a test from the General Educational Development (GED).
  2. Higher education applicable for surgical technologists– Students interested in higher education to pursue a career in the surgical tech field may consider completing a postsecondary education. There are several universities and colleges that educate the students in various related subjects like biology, anatomy, pharmacology, medical terminology and insight on the operation tools. Postsecondary education in this aspect does not limit itself to theoretical knowledge enhancement. The studies include educating the students with a practical exposure to sterilization techniques, handling patients with care, on hands experience in using the technical instruments and setting up the robotic equipments. Postsecondary education for surgical tech last from several months to two years.
  3. Certifications – Possessing a certificate in the field of surgical technology is not a mandatory requirement for applying to a scrub’s post. It will definitely act as an added advantage as your knowledge and on-hands exposure is going to be superior and elevated when compared to those possessing only a postsecondary completion. The certifications discussed below, however, can be taken up by students who have completed their continued education. There are two major organizations that credit students with certifications in this field.
  • Get titled as a ‘Certified Surgical Technologist’ by completing an accredited formal education or a military training and passing the examination held by National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Readers are requested to visit the link for more details on the certification.
  • Get titled as a ‘Tech in Surgery Certified (NCCT)’ by either completing an accredited formal education, completing a military training or by gaining work experience. The title is offered for passing the certification examination by National Center for Competency Testing. Readers are requested to visit the link for more details on the certification.

Behavioural and Additional Qualities that is vital

To have a successful career as a surgical tech, one must grasp and practice many behavioural qualities because the profession necessitates continuous interaction with surgeons and patients.

  • Being polite and caring is of utmost importance when conversing and handling patients.
  • Attention to detail and being focussed all the time helps the surgeons and the fellow scrubs to perform their responsibilities impeccably.
  • Physically fit and adequate stamina to be able to stand in the operation theatres for prolonged durations.
  • Efficiently manage stress as working in an operation theatre requires a lot of attention over an assortment of tasks.
  • Presence of mind to perform all the tasks without a fault.

How to become a Surgical Technician

There are potential job opportunities for both novices and experienced surgical techs. The healthcare industry is one area that never runs out of job opportunities. Having chosen a career in the medical field is worth the efforts and your career as a surgical technician is sure to grow leaps and bounds if you are focussed. Surgical techs work in hospitals, clinics, ambulatory surgical centres and physicians’ offices. Neurosurgery and cardio surgery are challenging and assisting surgeons in these surgeries will boost your experience levels. After gaining sufficient experience as a surgical technician, one can progress to becoming a ‘surgical first assistant’ who plays the lead role in the operating team. A surgical tech may also advance to become a circulator who interviews the patients before and after surgery and also assists with anaesthesia.

Surgical tech Salary

Salary of a Surgical Technician

The average surgical tech’s salary is around $41,000 annually. Statistics have shown that the average annual salary of a surgical tech has been constantly increasing over the last ten years which is certainly a sign of a good career opportunity that is growing with time.

Conclusion

Surgical techs work in shift basis and have a full time work around the week. These professionals may be required to work during holidays, weekends and odd hours and must be prepared to be present at the work place during emergencies. The career of a surgical techn shows a smooth upward line in the career graph and one can shift to other related fields like circulator, surgical nurse or a surgical first assistant. With the technology rising in the medical field, use of robotic instruments during the surgeries is proportionately increasing which facilitates more surgical techns on board in all hospitals and healthcare organizations. Start your career as a surgical tech today and watch success come your way!

May 01

Ultrasound Technician – Areas of Specialty

Some careers seem to have a built-in ceiling, leaving no room for future advancement. For those interested in expanding their career choice or continuing their education, these jobs quickly become stagnant.

Those interested in becoming an Ultrasound Technician will find this career choice full of opportunity.  Ultrasound itself is a rapidly advancing technology, putting those interested in joining the field in a prime position for advancement opportunities as well as specialization.

To become an Ultrasound Technician, it is important that the school you choose is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.  There are over 170 such accredited programs across the country. It is also very important you select a program that provides you with enough scanning hours (in a hospital) in order to qualify to sit for the exams. You may choose an accredited program in either a vocational setting, a community college that offers an Associates Degree (a two-year degree), or a Bachelor’s Degree, (a four year degree). An Associate’s Degree continues to be the most popular choice for those wishing to become an Ultrasound Tech.

Ultrasound Technician Specialization

Once graduated, you may choose to become a ‘registered’ sonographer. While most states do not require a state license, registering is highly recommended. Most employers prefer a registered sonographer because the additional exam (s) provides an independent and objective measure of the sonographer’s abilities, as well as professional standing. Registry is done through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographyan independent organization that was founded in 1975, provides ultrasound professionals the ability to obtain certification as proof of their proficiency in the ultrasound field. In addition, the ARDMS provides re-certification for existing ultrasound technicians, as proof of their continuing competency. To become certified, you must pass an exam covering the important skills that are needed for your position. The ARDMS provides this examination, familiarly known as ‘sitting for the ARDMS.’ Passing the exams certifies you as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS).

The Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer certification given by the ARDMS also provides specialty concentrations for those proficient in visualizing specific areas of the body. The more specializations and credentials a sonographer obtains, the more in demand that sonographer becomes. This increases job prospectsearning potential as well as opportunities for promotion.

The Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer certification provides for abdominal ultrasound as well as obstetrics and gynecology. The Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer credentials, for heart ultrasound specialists, provide certification after you have passed two exams. The first is a general exam including the principles of sonography, equipment and physics. The second exam, the specialty exam covers both normal and diseased organ anatomy.

For those interested in specializing in one area of ultrasound, these areas include:

  • Echocardiography
    Sonographers who work in this area work primarily with a patient’s cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. The Echocardiographer may assist the Physician in performing cardiac catheterizations, electrocardiograms, lung capacity tests and other diagnostic tests.
  • Neurosonology
    Known as neurosonology or neurosonography, Sonographers who work in this area obtain images of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system. Neurosonographers must use highly specialized beams, transducers and frequencies to obtain accurate images of such specialized areas as the brain. Along with working with adult patients, Neurosonographers may also work with neonatal or premature infants to obtain images of their nervous systems.
  • Abdominal Sonography
    Sonographers who work in this area obtain images of the internal organs in the abdominal area. This includes the spleen, kidneys and liver, as well as any tumors or blockages that may be present. Some tumors or blockages can then be dissolved using high frequency sound waves that are focused on the area.
  • Vascular Technology
    This area focuses on obtaining images of a patient’s arteries, veins and pathology. Vascular Sonographers may use ultrasound to obtain images that can even measure a patient’s blood flow velocity and pressure. These images are used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have aneurysms, blood clots, or atherosclerosis (plaque build-up).
  • Fetal Echo cardiology
    Sonographers who work in this area work produce images of a pediatric (child) patient’s heart and great vessels. These images are used to diagnose congenital heart disease as well as other disorders. Images may be obtained using color flow Doppler, 2D and 3D Echo as well as transesophageal studies.
  • Ophthalmology
    Previous to ultrasound, Ophthalmologists were limited in viewing a patient’s eye for diagnosis of disease, as well as to verify anatomy and physiology. Often, surgery was conducted as part of the diagnostic process. With ultrasound, Sonographers who specialize in this area can now obtain the necessary images of the eye for diagnosis, rather than the use of surgery.
  • Adult Echo cardiology
    Also known as Cardiac Sonographers, those who work in this area produce images of an adult patient’s heart and great vessels. These images are used to diagnose pericardiac disease, valvular disease, cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease.
  • Breast Sonography
    A rather new area of specialty, Sonographers who work in this area use ultrasound to obtain more detailed images of an abnormality previously seen on a mammogram, or felt during a breast exam. Breast Sonography determines if a mass is fluid-filled or solid, requiring a biopsy.  To perform the biopsy, a needle is then guided by ultrasound to the mass. A small portion of the mass is then withdrawn. This biopsy can determine if a mass is malignant (cancerous) or benign.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecologic Sonography
    One of the most popular areas of specialty, OB sonography has been used since its’ development in the 1950’s. Sonographer who work in this area use ultrasound to obtain images of a pregnant woman and her unborn child (fetus). In addition, gynecologic sonography is used to obtain images of those organs within the pelvic region, such as the bladder and uterus, for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Cardiac Sonography
    Sonographers who work in this area use ultrasound to obtain detailed images of the heart. Known as an echocardiogram, the images obtained show the heart chambers (and their size), valve and muscle function, even the blood flow. The Cardiologist uses these images for analysis and diagnosis.
Apr 19

Radiology Technician Salary : How Much Can You Earn?

Before we go into details about a radiology technician salary you may be interested in the following facts regarding this particular health profession.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment opportunities in the field of radiology is growing well above average.According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) this career choice offers a promising future, job stability and a good salary
The ASRT also say there is growing demand for services of radiology technicians and technologists and this is expected to increase as the human populations ages.
As with many health professions many shortages exist within radiology for example, a recent survey revealed that up to 42 percent of hospitals surveyed did not have enough sonographer’s and 40 percent had a shortage of radiographers.

Radiologic Technologist Information

Expected Earnings

A radiology technician salary can vary depending on which industry you practice. Based on the 2010 ASRT wage survey the average yearly salary is in the region of $44,500 for a entry level radiographers. This annual can increase substantially up to a level of $85,000 per annum with more experience, training and management responsibilities.

As pointed out earlier the industry that you decide to practice in can also determine your level of salary. For example, based on 2008 figures you could expect to earn in the region of $55,210 if you were employed in medical and diagnostic laboratories whereas, a slightly lower $52,890 salary is offered if you decided to work in a general or surgical hospital.

Training and Education

A radiology technician salary can increase with further training and development. There are a variety of ways in which you can train to become a radiology technician. You could decide to qualify either through hospital universities, college or medical school. For example, an associate degree will take two years of study either based in a hospital or college. Alternatively, many universities and colleges offer 4 year bachelor degree courses.

Radiology Technician Salary

Many employers prefer to employ certified radiologists. Organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) provide certification programs which will prove to future employers that you can demonstrate your abilities and qualifications. It is important to point out that after December 14 2014 the ARRT will only accept graduates who have an associate degree as a minimum.

Career Opportunities

As you can see a radiology technician salary is quite competitive. If we take into consideration that we are living longer the need for radiology, medical imaging and x-ray will continue to increase in demand. This means the outlook is very good for this chosen profession. There are many opportunities for a technician to advance their careers in to more specialized areas with more experience and further training. They can specialize in areas such as the following:

Bone Densitometry – Special x ray machines are used to determine the mineral density of certain areas of the body that can include the spine, wrist, hip or heel. Physicians can use these results to determine for example, the risk of that person of getting a fracture or even the rate of bone loss due to conditions such as osteoporosis.
Mammography – is used to create diagnostic imagery of breasts and breast tissue. Within this speciality mammographers need to meet high educational standards in order to conduct mammographic procedures on patients.
Cardiovascular-Interventional – This is where specialized equipment and magnetic resonance imaging to guide instruments such as catheters through the body. This is a unique approach that enables treatment without the need for evasive open style surgery.
Computed Tomography – The introduction of CT technology has enabled specialized x ray machines to create thin sections of the human body to create 3D images of major organs such as the heart and brain.

Future Job Market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for radiology technologist and technicians will increase by 17% by 2018. This forecasted figure is predicted due to an ever growing aging population. As the human body ages the occurrence of injury and chronic diseases will increase resulting in a higher demand for qualified x-ray technicians in the future. It is also important to point out that radiology plays a vital role in the monitoring of diseases during and after treatment. The effectiveness of diagnostic imaging will mean it will continue to be in high demand.

To take full advantage of this specialist field you should consider training in more than one diagnostic imaging procedure. This will make you more attractive and sought after in the market place. A person who has experience of using both CT, Magnetic Resonance and Mammography will be much less expensive to employ than having an employer hire 3 technicians to perform each procedure separately.

With more skills you can also expect your radiology technician salary to rise accordingly.

Dec 23

Radiology Technician Job Overview

If you want to become a radiology technician, you must be aware of the duties and responsibilities involved in a Radiology technician job. You need to evaluate and review the developed x-rays, computer generated information, or video tapes for determining whether the images can be used for diagnostic purposes or not. In order to ensure the safety of patients, you and the other staff, you must strictly follow the radiation safety measures and should use the protection devices. You need to observe patients during scanning and explain them its procedures for ensuring their safety and comfort. Radiology technician job description also includes:

Responsibilities of Radiology Technicians

 

  • Operate the magnetic and radiologic imaging equipment
  • Position patients on examination table
  • Position imaging equipment
  • Adjust the machine for setting exposure time and distance as per specification
  • Enter data and key commands in to computer
  • Specify scan sequences
  • Adjust receivers and transmitters
  • Take photograph of certain images
  • Monitor the video display of the area to be scanned
  • Adjust contrast or density of scan image to improve the quality of pictures
  • Monitor the reactions and conditions of patients
  • If there are abnormal signs, report it to physicians
  • Set up examination room to ensure all necessary equipment is ready
  • Administer injected or oral contrast media to patients
  • Take medical history of patients accurately and thoroughly
  • Remove and process films
  • Perform minor emergency repairs and scheduled maintenance on radiographic equipment
  • Undertake administrative duties
  • Work with the other healthcare members for conducting special vascular procedures or angiography
  • Help patients in dressing if they are seriously injured, ill, or disabled
  • Provide technical assistance to the other team members
  • Process, record, and maintain the data and treatment records of patients, etc.

Potential Dangers

Radiology technicians mostly handle cancer patients and the chance of exposure to radiation is also very high. However, you can prevent it if you use protective devices, like lead shields. It is also essential to check the amount of radiation exposure frequently to avoid adverse side effects due to it.

Educational Requirements for Radiology Technicians

You can enroll in a number of formal training programs to get a Radiology technician job. You can get an entry level job in this field if you have an associate degree or a certificate. However, employees with a bachelor degree in radiology can earn more salary and reputation. In order to enroll in a radiology training program, you must have a high school diploma, high scores in an entrance examination and must be free from criminal activities.

Certificate Program in Radiology

You need to devote 1-2 years for getting a certificate in radiology. The program empowers students with clinical training, classroom instructions, and technical skills necessary for handling entry level positions in radiology technology. Coursework include patient care, image processing, radiology equipment, etc. You will also get clinical training under the supervision of a radiologist.

Associate Degree in Radiology

The duration of Associate Degree programs in Radiology is around two years. The program consists of clinical training, classroom teachings, and general education in science and communication. Usually, technical schools and community colleges are conducting these training programs. You can take courses in radiation protection, radiographic physics, and imaging procedures and analysis.

Bachelor Degree

Some universities and colleges offer bachelor degree in radiologic technology programs to the student who wants to get a Radiology technician job. The duration of this program is 4 years and it emphasizes patient care, diagnostics, advanced technology, which are essential for you to perform your duties as a radiology technician in clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and other healthcare facilities. You will also get classroom studies and clinical training. The program covers topics such as:

  • Principles of radiological imaging
  • Pathology
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • General and nuclear physics
  • Mathematics
  • Radiation physics
  • Radiopharmacology
  • General chemistry
  • Medical ethics
  • Patient care
  • Computer programming
  • Medical imaging techniques
  • Emergency medical procedure
  • Radiological instrumentation
  • Medical imaging science and diagnosis
  • Nursing procedures
  • Research
  • Biology, etc.

Some of the top schools, which conduct radiologic technology training programs are University of Charleston, University of Iowa, University of St Francis, etc.

Licensure

If you want to work as a radiology technician, you must earn a state licensure. Though the health boards of the respective states are the determining authority for licensing requirements, you must pass a licensing examination to obtain a licensure. You can seek Radiology technician job in some states, if you have a certification from the ARRT (American Registration of Radiologic Technologists). It can be obtained by earning high scores in a state licensing examination.

Certification

Certification is not mandatory to work as a radiology technician. However, if you have a certification, it means that you are highly qualified for doing Radiology technician job. Employers also prefer to hire people with professional certification in radiology technology, which is issued by the ARRT. You are eligible for getting a certification if you have completed an ARRT accredited formal training program successfully. You must also obtain high scores in a primary certification examination. The radiology technicians who seek primary certification from January 1, 2015 must have at least an associate degree.

Radiology Technician Salary

The salary of a radiology technician depends on various factors, such as education qualification, certification, experience, geographical location, etc. However, as per the estimates of Salary.com, an entry level technician can earn around $30,000 per year. The annual median salary of an experienced radiology technician is around $90,000.

Prospects of Radiology Technician Job

Employment opportunities for radiology technicians are very bright. The growth rate in radiology technician job is 28% and it is expected that this tendency will continue till 2020. Compared to the growth rate of all other occupations, it is really very fast. The old age population is increasing and they need more medical care and attention due to fractures and breaks. Radiology technicians are essential for the proper diagnosis of the health problem in such circumstances. Modern lifestyle also contributes a major part for new illnesses. This is also favorable for those who seek radiology technician job.

Dec 23

Radiology Technician – Career , Scope, Job Description , Salary

If you’re interested in working in the medical field, but only have a limited amount of time and money to invest in your education, one job which may interest you is that of radiology technician. You may also hear radiology technicians referred to ad radiologic technologists or medical radiation technologists, and sometimes “radiographers.” This is a job which only requires an associate’s degree, pays reasonably well, and offers many opportunities for advancement.

Furthermore, those opportunities are only expected to increase over the coming years. In a world where many other fields are stagnating or even shrinking, that kind of growth represents some level of stability, yet another important job benefit. Interested in learning more? Read on to learn more about what radiology techs do, how much money do they make, and how you can become one.

radiology technician career

Why Become a Radiology Technician?

As a radiology tech, you would be able to work directly with patients, which means you would have a chance to make a positive difference in other peoples’ lives. Having a good bedside manner is as important as having great technical expertise. If you work in a capacity which allows you to analyze the results and report your findings, you have an even bigger role to play in the healing of the patient. If this aspect of the work is something which interests you a great deal, you might consider a job as a radiologist instead, though it will require a far bigger educational investment.

The other reasons to become a radiologic technologist relate to practical considerations such as salary, opportunity and educational requirements. This is a job which requires minimal educational investment, pays well, and is growing rapidly. With an aging population which is living increasingly longer, healthcare needs are only going to continue to rise. That makes the value of an associate’s degree in the field quite high in comparison to many other degrees, which take more time and money to complete, but do not pay as well in terms of opportunity and salary.Becoming a radiology tech allows you to work in a clinic, hospital, surgical centre or other medical environment. This can be an exciting, fast paced workplace where you come into contact with many co-workers and members of the public, and have a chance to interact with many people every day. You also will probably learn a great deal not only about radiology, but about other aspects of human health while you are on the job. There is a lot of flexibility with this job, since night shifts are required. So you may be able to choose your own hours, working full time or part time as you wish, and selecting specific shifts based on your needs.

radiology technologist job overview

How To Become a Radiology Technician

Before you can get into this field, you’ll need to complete  training and receive the proper credentials.  Your first step is to start researching training programs in your area.  Look for a school that offers you a formal training program which allows you to receive an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the field or a certificate.  How much education do you need?  A higher degree program may help you to start out with a higher radiologist technician salary, but you will end up spending more on your education, so it all depends on your situation and what your needs are.

If you want to start working as soon as possible, and you are not as concerned about your entry-level salary, you may want to just aim for a certificate.  It only takes about six months to a year to get a certification in the field.  During that time, you will complete classroom work along with clinical training.  Topics you will study will include anatomy, pathology, radiation, image interpretation, and patient care.  An associate’s degree program will take a couple of years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree comprises a four-year educational path.

Another idea is to start out with a certification or an associate’s degree, and then go back to school to earn a higher degree part time once you’ve started working and earning money.  This may speed up the process of advancement, but will allow you to get started sooner.  You also can join a professional organization in order to forge new connections and build up a network.

How do you make sure that you’re using an accredited program?  It is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) which provides accreditation for radiology technician programs.  If you don’t complete an accredited program, you may not qualify for a license.  The licensing requirements to become a radiologic technologist vary depending on which state you are located in.  In general, you will have to graduate from an accredited program, and then pass a certification exam.  The exam is dispensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or by the state government.

Your training as a radiology technician is never really complete, even if you have a higher degree and earn a great salary.  Over time, technology changes and new advancements are made, so you have to keep your knowledge current by completing continuing educational requirements.

Radiology Technician Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2010 median annual pay for a radiology technician was $54,340. The median salary per hour was $26.13. The salary radiology techs make depends on a number of factors, including experience, work environment, hours, and tasks.

radiology-tech-salary

Radiology techs are needed all over the countries, in both urban and rural settings. It’s a good idea to do some research on how much radiology techs make in the locations you are considering working. Sometimes developing a specialization can make your services more valuable, raising your salary. Some radiology technicians make far more than the average pay, pulling in as much as $300,000 a year. The top 10% of radiology techs made $76,850 or more, and the lowest 10% earned less than $36,510. All things considered, that isn’t a bad salary at all for a technician who has met only the minimal educational requirements. There are other fields where you can study much longer and not even make the minimal salary for radiology technicians!

Expanding Opportunities in Radiology

Just how fast are jobs in radiology growing? Radiologic technologist positions are expanding at a growth rate of 28% according to the BLS. That means that between 2010 and 2020, 61,000 new positions are projected to open up. Some of those jobs have already started to appear over the past couple of years, but a lot more jobs are waiting to be created. It’s very important to think ahead when you are planning a career, especially when an educational investment is required. The radiologist technician salary is great, and so is the amount of opportunity out there. With all those new jobs opening up, you may have a chance to advance more quickly and reach the upper salary echelons within a shorter time frame.

Job Description

What do radiology technicians do? Radiology is a specialty field in medicine which involves using visual diagnostic equipment to map out, identify and treat conditions in patients. While the term “radiology technician” is often interchangeably used with the phrase “x-ray technician,” they are not identical. Taking x-rays may be just one of your jobs if you become a radiographer. You also might use ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging techniques as part of your job. Some radiologic technologists specialize in a specific type of imaging equipment, while others may do multiple imaging tasks.

Radiologist vs. Radiographer

As a radiology tech (radiographer), you carry out the imaging procedures on patients yourself. While you may be asked to interpret the results which are displayed, reporting your findings and analysis to the physician who ordered the reports, this will not comprise a large part of your role.

Radiology technicians are able to optimally position patients for the best image and for safety, but are usually not asked for interpretations of results. Radiologists, unlike radiographers, are actual doctors of medicine, and are qualified to draw conclusions by viewing the results of x-rays and other forms of medical imaging. As a radiographer, all you have is an associate’s degree, so you are only qualified to work in a support role.

Is Radiology Technician the Job for You?

You’ll also need to be good at physical work since you will spend a lot of time on your feet and will need to help move patients. Finally, good patient skills and a desire to help others is a must. If this sounds appealing to you, and the radiology technician salary and expanding job opportunities look enticing, look into the licensing requirements in your state and get started!Should you become a radiology technician? No one can answer this question for you, but here are some of the qualities which can help you excel in this field. Good radiology technicians are detail-oriented, and have strong technical skills which allow them work well with technology. You will need to be good at understanding anatomy and interpreting images. Chemistry is another important skills, since mixing chemicals is part of the preparation for taking the pictures.

Oct 28

Education & Certification Requirements for Ultrasound Technicians

Whether you are just starting your journey in the healthcare industry, or looking to explore a new direction in your field, the choice to become an ultrasound technician is a rewarding adventure. Performing an ultrasound is a science as much as it is an art. It requires the knowledge, technique, and creativity to diagnose pathologies efficiently and effectively. A career as an ultrasound technician will offer you the opportunity to challenge yourself with every procedure while also interacting closely with patients.

certification requirements

Education Requirements

Ultrasound Technicians perform an integral function in the diagnostic process. Aspiring ultrasound technicians can take one of three possible educational paths in order to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for performing the duties of this important profession. The possible paths are:

  • Certificate : By attending a 12-month ultrasound certificate program, you will receive specialized instruction on the theory and uses of sonography. This option is perfect for healthcare professionals who want to improve their knowledge of operating and maintaining ultrasound equipment.
  • Associate’s Degree : The most popular academic path for aspiring ultrasound technicians is the 24-month associate’s degree. These programs provide the technical theory behind the physics of sonography while clarifying necessary physiology and diagnostic procedures needed to operate the equipment and perform routine procedures.
  • Bachelor’s Degree : If you want to fill a management or supervisory position, or possibly teach classes on sonography, then a bachelor’s degree will give you the greatest amount of flexibility. The four-year programs allow you to expand your imaging and diagnostic knowledge, and let you learn more about certain specialties, such as abdominal sonography and echocardiography.

Certification Requirements

At present, no license or certification is necessary to perform the duties of an ultrasound technician. However, your career may be improved of you obtain a license or certification. Most employers either require or give preference to applicants who are certified through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), an organization that tests the competency of sonographers and vascular technologists.

To earn certification through ARDMS as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer, or Registered Vascular Technologist, you must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam. In order to take the exam, you must meet one of the eight possible prerequisites.

Below is a list of ARDMS credentials and corresponding specialty areas:

  • RDMSAbdomen; Breast; Fetal Echocardiography; Neurosonology; Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • RDCSAdult Echocardiography; Fetal Echocardiography; Pediatric Echocardiography
  • RVT: Vascular Technology

Visit the ARDMS website for review materials, practice tests, information on testing procedures, and a list of prerequisites for every ultrasound specialization.

In niches like echocardiography and neurosonology, ultrasound technicians have a dramatic impact on the diagnostic process. Each specialization offers new challenges in obtaining useful images and interpreting diagnostic data. Greater training means greater effectiveness in acting as a liaison between a doctor and his or her patient, and the more effective your technique is, the more rewarding your career will become.

Sep 09

Ultrasound Technician Schools in California

California the nation’s largest state provides plenty of opportunity for ultrasound technicians starting out in the state. At the present, there is high demand for trained sonographers so there has never been a better time for attending one of the ultrasound technician schools in California and experiencing what this excellent career has to offer.

To become an ultrasound technician you will need to attend a college or certificate program that typically lasts two years. Most commonly, ultrasound technicians entering the field have earned an associate’s degree from one of the sonography schools in California. While associate’s degrees and certificates are popular training options, you will find some California schools offering bachelor’s and even masters degrees in the career field.

california

Sonography Schools in California

The state offers many options for finding training in this field. The programs are offered in all regions of California especially around the larger cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. To get started, obtaining information from ultrasound technician schools near you should be easy and fast. Most colleges will let you request information through their websites and can even arrange to meet you in person to show you their facilities.

Below are some of the ultrasound technician schools in California you may consider.

Community Regional Medical Center

Fresno, CA
Website: www.communitymedical.org
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General, Cardiac

Cypress College

Cypress, CA
Website: www.cypresscollege.edu
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General

Foothill College

Los Altos Hills, CA
Website: www.foothill.edu
Degrees: Certificate, Associate
Concentration: General

Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences

Richmond, CA
Website: www.kpsahs.org
Degrees: Certificate, Baccalaureate
Concentration: General, Cardiac

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, CA
Website: www.llu.edu
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General, Cardiac, Vascular

Orange Coast College

Costa Mesa, CA
Website: www.orangecoastcollege.edu
Degrees: Associate
Concentration: General

Platt College Los Angeles, LLC

Alhambra, CA
Website: www.plattcollege.edu
Degrees: Associate
Concentration: General

Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara, CA
Website: www.sbcc.edu
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General

University of California San Diego Medical Center

San Diego, CA
Website: www.ucsd.edu
Degrees: Certificate
Concentration: General

Choosing a School – Accredited Sonography schools

When making a choice on which of the ultrasound technician schools in California to attend, finding an accredited program should be important to you. Accredited sonography programs receive this designation after they have been evaluated and meet the standards of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Having an accreditation is important for schools and students alike. This shows employers that the school provides consistent skills training that aims to meet the needs of the sonography profession.

Choosing a School – Know the Programs Available

Knowing which program to attend is also important when you are in search of a sonography school. Certificate programs and associate’s degrees are most suited to get you started working in entry level sonography positions. Bachelor’s and master’s programs will take a considerably longer time to complete but will also help build a high level of knowledge in the profession. Completing these programs also provide access to higher paying salaries and responsibilities when starting out.

Associate’s Degree Programs

An associate’s degree program for sonography will put students through a comprehensive training program in sonography as well as include college courses in traditional subjects and fundamental medical training. These two year programs will have students complete the college’s core requirements usually consisting of math, writing, and other elective courses in science and humanities. After completing the college pre-requisites, students are provided many hours of hands on training and classroom education in ultrasound technology.

Many sonography schools cover the following areas throughout the program:

  • Sonography for Gynecology – Studies of sonography practices used in examining the anatomy and reproductive tract of female patients
  • Sonography for Obstetrics – studies the development of fetal growth, the sonographic measurements and accepted standards in the field
  • Vascular Sonography – Provides understanding of the circulatory system and the use of ultrasound to examine patients who may be experiencing concerns with the organs, tissues, or cells that make up the vascular system.

Certificate or Diploma Programs

For some who already have a degree in an allied health profession such as nursing or radiology, sonography certificate programs are a good option for expanding expertise in the medical field. Certificate programs often attract current professionals that are looking to move into another area or provide more services in their current jobs. These courses take a shorter period of time to complete mainly because they cut out a lot of the pre-requisites that need to be taken in an associates program. Often, the focus here is to learn the job through practical experience and specialized classroom training.

Deciding on which level of education will depend on what experience you have and the amount of time to complete the program. When finding a sonography program you will want to find out from the school what entry pre-requisites there are for the program you have your sights on.

Job Expectations

In California, many of their large cities offer opportunities for finding good stable jobs in the field. Because of California’s large and diverse population there is great demand for diagnostic healthcare. Ultrasound technicians who are bi-lingual or multi-lingual will get heavy consideration when applying for jobs as this is a great attribute to have because technicians will work with patients from many cultures.

The salary for an ultrasound technician in California is the highest in the country. In the state the profession earns more than many of their allied health counter-parts. On average ultrasound technicians earn $81,750 per year working in the state of California. Most available sonography jobs are in or around the larger metro areas of the state such as Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco where there is exceptional demand for workers who are trained in the field.

Sep 09

Ultrasound Techncians Schools in New York

Do you live in New York and want to become a diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technician ? If so you’ll probably want to check out the different ultrasound technician schools in New York.Now is an exceptional time to enter the sonography field. Like many allied health professions, hospitals are finding qualified sonographers in short supply. Over the next decade the profession is expected to grow rapidly as new and exciting techniques are utilized in the field. Sonographers in New York are amongst the highest paid allied health professionals earning an average salary of over $65,000 per year.

What Ultrasound Programs are available in New York?

There are generally three types of training options to get professionally qualified to practice as an ultrasound technician in New York.  The programs available are certificate level, Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree. The length of the course will depend upon your choice, experience and past training in the medical field.

new york state

If you have experience working or training in the medical field a certificate program may be reasonable choice for advancing in the medical workforce. Colleges, hospitals, and vocational schools often provide more accelerated programs to earn a certificate or diploma credential faster than a degree seeking program. Current medical professionals pursue the courses a lot of times to add skills or transition to another area in medicine.

In certificate programs much of the studies are focused on the technical aspects of ultrasonography and developing the practical skills needed during internships. These are most often beneficial to current health workers because the need for introductory medical courses is often unnecessary which will lead to a faster completion time. Generally, certificate programs last one to two years depending on the institution.

For those starting out without any previous experience pursuing an Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography from an ultrasound training school will prepare you for employment in hospitals, clinics, or medical offices. An Associate’s degree program typically lasts two years. Ultrasound technician schools in New York provide classroom training in addition to clinical studies to gain hands on practice in the workplace.

Associate’s degree programs provide a thorough training experience for those new to healthcare or college courses in general. Before entering the specialized training that an ultrasound technician receives, students will have to complete the entry requirements for their school. The entry requirements needed to begin ultrasound technician training will include the college core studies requirements such as algebra, communications, computer skills, and physics. In addition to the core studies, students will take classes in the fundamental medical requirements such as terminology, ethics, physiology and anatomy.

After obtaining an Associate’s degree and completion of the clinical training students will be able to enter the workforce or take the medical sonographer examination provided through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or ARDMS. The certifications are important in the job search as they solidify the technician’s skills and expertise in sonography and set them apart from non-certified technicians.

Another type of degree to consider is a Bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees in medical sonography cover a wider knowledge of sonography and typically last four years. The training received in a four year program will include a much broader area of study in sonography and are often pursued by students who are interested in research or management positions in the industry.

Having a bachelor’s degree in sonography offers benefits over other courses. Though the program last longer, job seekers who hold bachelor’s will find themselves in higher paying and more senior positions when entering the field. The degree indicates to employers that they have been very thoroughly trained which will set them apart from other candidates.

Accredited Ultrasound Programs in New York

There are several schools in the state offering ultrasound technician training. One of the most important aspects when choosing an ultrasound technician school in New York is ensuring that the institution has been accredited through the CAAHEP. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs that evaluates and certifies that training programs to adhere to high standards. Obtaining education with an accredited institution is important as this will lead to less difficulty finding a job or joining the ARDMS.

In New York, there are several colleges accredited through the CAAHEP to provide training in diagnostic medical sonography. When choosing a college it is important to contact them directly to find out more about their offerings. Key considerations such as programs offered, availability, scheduling, and of course, cost all should factor into which program is pursued.

Below is a list of accredited ultrasound training schools in New York :

Sanford Brown Institute – New York, NY
Website: www.sbnewyork.com
Programs Offered:
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound

Sanford Brown Institute-Garden City – Garden City, NY
Website: www.sbgardencity.com
Programs Offered:
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound

Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY
Website: www.rit.edu
Programs Offered:
B.S. – Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Sanford Brown Institute-White Plains – White Plains, NY
Website: www.sanfordbrown.edu/White-Plains
Programs Offered:
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound

SUNY Downstate Medical Center – Brooklyn, NY
Website: www.downstate.edu
Programs Offered:
B.S. – Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Sep 09

Ultrasound Technician Schools in Ohio

In Ohio, there are several ultrasound technician schools helping many launch successful careers in diagnostic medical sonography. The field is growing faster than most occupations and offers plenty of opportunities for students who’ve received training through the ultrasound technician schools in Ohio.

Ultrasound technicians are commonly referred to as sonographers or ultrasound technologists in the medical field. These are the primary specialists who conduct ultrasound examinations at hospitals and clinics. The exams are administered for a variety of reasons, but most commonly they are utilized during pregnancy examinations or to diagnose medical conditions that cannot be easily found outside the body.

Ohio

Seeking training at one of the excellent ultrasound technician schools in Ohio offers great prospects for a career that is well paying, filled with opportunities, and allows you to help people every day.

Sonography Schools in Ohio

Sanford Brown College

Middleburg Heights, OH
Website: www.sbc-cleveland.com
Degrees: Diploma
Concentrations in General Medical Sonography

Cuyahoga Community College

Parma, OH
Website: www.tri-c.edu
Degrees: Certificate, Associate
Concentrations in General Medical Sonography, Cardiac Sonography, Vascular Sonography

Kettering College of Medical Arts

Kettering, OH
Website: www.kcma.edu
Degrees: Associate, Baccalaureate
Concentrations in General Medical Sonography, Cardiac Sonography, Vascular Sonography

Cincinnati State Technical Community College

Cincinnati, OH
Website: www.cincinnatistate.edu
Degrees: Associate
Concentrations in General Medical Sonography, Cardiac Sonography, Vascular Sonography

Lorain County Community College

Elyria, OH
Website: www.lorainccc.edu
Degrees: Certificate, Associate
Concentrations in General Medical Sonography

Researching Schools

It is important to get as much information about the options available in your area before deciding on which sonography program is the right choice for you. This can be as easy as filling out a form on the college’s website to request information or visiting them in person to get a course catalog and look around the facility.

Accredited Sonography Programs in Ohio

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the accrediting body for educators of medical sonography. They evaluate over 1800 allied health programs of different areas and ensure that the programs meet the educational standards necessary for entry level qualifications in the field. With training through a CAAHEP accredited program, students are eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification exam upon completion.

Accredited ultrasound technician schools are important to look for when pursuing an education in the field. Students who are trained by CAAHEP accredited schools are often sought after by healthcare employers for clinical training as well as job opportunities. There are several accredited ultrasound technician schools in Ohio located throughout many areas of the state.

How long is Ultrasound Technician School?

There are several options available when training to become an ultrasound technician. Most commonly, students attend two year programs and earn associate’s degrees from ultrasound technician schools in Ohio.

There are also certificate/diploma courses available at some schools which can be completed to faster. Often these last between 12 to 18 months. There may be entry requirements for certificate programs such as allied health experience, so it’s best to check with the schools in your area before figuring out which level of education is suitable for you.

Classes You Will Take

Ultrasound technicians have to receive a solid education in technical, medical, and communications skills such as group communications and public speaking. The job will entails lots of interaction with patients and medical team members as well as the operation of sophisticated computers for examining patients.

In addition to the thorough training in sonography, some of the courses that prepare students for becoming an ultrasound technician will include patient care, medical ethics, medical terminology, physics, small group communications, public speaking and more. These courses generally make up part of the core requirements before starting the sonography program.

Requirements for Ultrasound Technicians

When hiring, employers often look for candidates that have received training from one of the ultrasound technician schoosl in Ohio and are certified by the ARDMS. Certification is not a requirement in the field but can help a candidate’s prospects when looking for a job as an ultrasound technician. Without a certification ultrasound technicians can  potentially earn the experience needed to take the exam after they have landed a position.

Job Prospects in Medical Sonography

Sonography is a vital and growing part of today’s advanced medical practices, and requires qualified sonographers to operate the technology. With our country’s growing and aging population, the healthcare industry will continue offering growth in employment opportunities for ultrasound technicians. Graduates from ultrasound technician schools can often find good-paying, flexible and rewarding positions throughout the country.

On average, the salary for an ultrasound technician in Ohio is $58,740 or $28.05 per hour. This is among the highest paying allied health professions in the state which require similar training. An ultrasound technician can find most employment opportunities at hospitals located around the larger cities such as Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. While hospitals often employ the most sonographers, opportunities do exist in other settings such as doctor’s offices or clinics.

Sep 09

Ultrasound Technician Schools in New Jersey

Considering a career as an ultrasound technician is a great idea for those wanting a career that pays good, allows you to learn, advance, and help others. Pursuing an education through the ultrasound technician schools in New Jersey provides a great opportunity for those looking to succeed in the medical field.

Getting Started

So you’re probably wondering about how you get started working as an ultrasound technician. Well, first you’ll have to complete a degree or certificate program through one of the ultrasound technician schools in New Jersey. At an entry level the field will require a two year degree in order to qualify for most employment opportunities. In addition, employers also look for candidates who have obtained a sonographer certification through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (or ARDMS). Obtaining these qualifications will be definitely possible after receiving the right training from an ultrasound technician school in your area. The sonography schools in New Jersey are qualified and experienced in helping students achieve their career goals and entering the field in diagnostic medical sonography.

new jersey

Deciding on a school and a degree program will probably come down to several factors that are important to you. There are many schools offering training in medical sonography however finding one that meets your needs will require research on the schools in your area. When evaluating programs you’ll do best by contacting several ultrasound technician schools to request information about their programs. This can simply involve visiting their website to request that they send information or visiting the schools to meet with the staff and look around the facilities. However you choose to research the schools you’ll want to look at least a few to make comparisons.

Sonography Programs and Considerations

The types of program options will vary from school to school which is something to consider when looking at ultrasound technician schools in New Jersey. Most commonly, students who enter the field as an ultrasound technician will have obtained an associate’s degree from an accredited ultrasound program. An associate’s degree will generally take about two years to complete. This is a thorough training program that really caters to students who have no experience working in the healthcare field. Colleges will often have students complete a series of pre requisite courses before entering the ultrasound technician training. The courses making up the prerequisites often include studies such as math, language skills, sciences, and some medical fundamentals. These are generally taken during the first year and are needed before much of the ultrasound training begins.

The ultrasound training will be very thorough and will include classroom and lab studies in addition to plenty of hands on training working in clinical settings. Throughout the sonography program students will learn about how the ultrasound procedure can be utilized on different areas of the body. While ultrasound is commonly known for its use in pregnancy examinations the technology is also very useful in detecting problems occurring in other areas of the body. A lot of training will be focused on the scanning procedures used examine or detect medical concerns affecting the body in addition to pregnancy. While in the program students will also gain plenty of practice working in medical hospitals and clinics under the supervision of trained technicians. This is a very important aspect of the program because the job is very hands on. Through this training students will have the opportunity to learn on the job and apply the classroom concepts in the field.

But what if you already have an allied health degree or medical experience?  Well, you will be glad to know that there are accelerated programs that cater to those who already have experience in allied health. These are typically offered as certificate or diploma programs. Since an existing medical degree is often a prerequisite many of the traditional college subjects are skipped in favor of the practical skills needed for the job. These programs will provide extensive clinical training and classroom education on the ultrasound techniques and equipment. The ultrasound technician schools in New Jersey offer these programs which are perfect for current professionals looking to add to their medical skill sets.

Another thing to look for when choosing a program is whether the school holds an accreditation by the CAAHEP. Accreditation is very important for the student as it can have a direct impact on a student’s employment prospects after completing a program. The CAAHEP or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is responsible for evaluating and accrediting educational programs in sonography. Making sure that the school you choose is CAAHEP accredited is necessary. Attending an accredited program will provide eligibility to take the ARDMS certification after the program is finished. An accredited program is also looked upon better by employers because they understand that an accredited program ensures that the education will meet the training standards desired by the industry. Attending an unaccredited program is definitely risky because it will delay the ability to become certified and it may not be possible to find a job afterwards.

The CAAHEP website is very comprehensive at explaining the importance of an accredited program. It is definitely something to keep in mind during your research.

Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in NJ

Begen Community College

Paramus, NJ
Website: www.bergen.edu
Degrees: Associate’s
Concentrations : Cardiac Sonography, General Sonography

Gloucester County College

Sewell, NJ
Website: www.gccnj.edu
Degrees: Associate’s
Concentrations: General Sonography

Sanford Brown Institute-Iselin

Iselin, NJ
Website: www.sb-nj.com
Degrees: Certificate
Concentrations: General Sonography

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey

Newark, NJ
Website: www.umdnj.edu
Concentrations: General Sonography
Degrees: Certificate, Bachelor’s

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for ultrasound technicians is very good at this point as they are one of the most sought after and well paid specialists in the allied health professions. The job has grown steadily over the years and the demand for technicians is only expected to increase over the next decade. There are several factors that will contribute to the increased need for ultrasound technicians that include an aging population requiring more diagnostic procedures, the cost effectiveness of ultrasound, safety for patients and staff, as well as advances in the technology. Ultrasound is becoming more popular in many facilities as a replacement for procedures that at one time required invasive or radiation to diagnose the condition.

Also, the salary of an ultrasound technician in New Jersey is among the highest nationally and well above the national average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In New Jersey qualified ultrasound technicians earn on average $67,220 or around $32 per hour. It’s fair to say that ultrasound technicians in New Jersey are doing pretty well.

Links and Resources

Pursuing a career in ultrasound is a great idea and will ensure a good future. Getting the right training to succeed is very important to those who want to get started in the profession. Below are some additional resources to use in your research. Also be sure to read our other ultrasound technician schools articles on this website. Good luck and enjoy a great career as an ultrasound technician!