Ultrasound Technician

If you are looking to start a career, it is important to invest in a profession that presents extensive placement prospects and gives you an array of benefits both on the short and long term. The employment opportunities for an ultrasound technician are swelling by the day. This is largely attributed to the rising demand for technologically advanced equipment and qualified medical staff for diagnostic imaging. For a line of work that has excellent hourly remuneration and is highly marketable throughout the country, it is definitely a career path worth considering.

Roles and Responsibilities

On average, an ultrasound technician deals with various equipment responsible for capturing the internal anatomy of the human body in a domain known as sonography. These instruments manipulate sonic/sound waves to obtain images of tissues, organs and blood flow for further evaluation. High frequency waves are generated and directed towards a target, which upon recoil are interpreted by a transducer into images displayed on a screen and audible sounds. As opposed to radiation imaging, this technique is 100% safe thus its popularity.

The sonographer is expected not only to operate these gadgets but also to record and interpret the audio and visual combination. This means that they must know the difference between normal and abnormal tissue at very precise details. Such thorough work can mean life or death, for instance scans of cancer in its early stages or a fetus with a malfunctioning heart. They must also keep comprehensive records of all sonograms, which is effective in summarizing a patient’s progress report and medical history

Additionally, an ultrasound technician should be in a position to guide the patient through the sonogram. Most patients are usually nervous during scans especially first-timers; it is the technician’s job to explain what is happening and to reassure them that the procedure is absolutely safe and comfortable. Good judgment is also essential in determining whether further imaging is necessary for proper diagnosis.

A typical day at work involves these and other duties such as planning appointments, maintaining equipment, general administration, and managing archives.

of Technicians and Areas of Residency

An ultrasound technician is assigned depending on the area of specialization.

  • Obstetrics and gynecology: This involves monitoring the progress of a pregnancy as well as imaging of the female reproductive system to ensure proper health.
  • Neurosonography: Using the same equipment but at different wave calibrations, the transducer takes images of the head and central nervous system that detect brain tumors, clots among other anomalies.
  • Vascular and cardiovascular sonography: This monitors blood flow and calibrates velocity which is effective in locating abnormalities and blockages. Cardiography requires a sonogram that takes images of heart valves, tissues and blood flow from multiple angles.
  • Other domains of sonography include optics, breast, abdominals, and musculoskeletal.

Salary and Benefits

Depending on the residency, the standard salary for an entry-level technician is about $50,000 per year and approximately $65,000 for the more experienced. In states such as DC, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maryland, the annual stipend currently goes in excess of $85,000.

In addition to this, there is fail-safe job security with an expansive range of placement and in most cases healthcare firms will pursue sonographers as opposed to the reverse. A paycheck is only worthwhile if the job description is motivating and productive. Ultrasound technician jobs are by far more dynamic, stimulating and gratifying compared to most professions.

What next?

Continue to learn more about the ultrasound technician profession by reading more of the information on our site. There is a lot to learn about this promising and exciting career, we recommend that you start with one of the following topics:

Resources:

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography – ARDMS

Council for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Progam – CAAHEP

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography – SDMS

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