Why a Career in Sonography?
A healthcare career in sonography offers many exciting challenges as well as numerous rewards. Sonography, also known as diagnostic medical sonography, utilizes ultrasound technology to examine a patient’s tissues, blood vessels and internal organs. Sonographers, or ultrasound techs, work with their patients on an individual basis. It can be truly said that they are on the front lines of healthcare and play a critical role by detecting and monitoring a variety of life-changing or even threatening medical conditions. These conditions can range from high-risk pregnancies to cancers or even heart defects. Would a career in ultrasound technology be the right fit for you? Read on to learn a little bit more about what it takes to be an ultrasound technician, as well as their job functions and work environments.
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Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Ultrasound technicians are responsible for operating sonography equipment that produces and records internal images of patients. These images or tests are then used by physicians to assist them in making a diagnosis. You are most likely familiar with the role of an ultrasound tech as it relates to prenatal care, but sonograms are also used to examine many parts of the body. They include muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints, breast tissue, the brain and spinal cord, and organs in the abdominal cavity, to name a few.
Ultrasound Tech Specializations
As with other healthcare careers, specialization is an option with sonography. One area of specialization is Cardiac Sonography, where techs produce images of a patient’s heart, heart chambers, valves and vessels. Another is Vascular Sonography, which is similar to a Cardiac Sonography, but focuses primarily on blood vessels and blood flow. But an ultrasound tech’s job is much more than just producing internal images. They interact with patients by answering their questions and preparing them for the diagnostic procedure. They must also have a discerning eye. Ultrasound technicians must be able to recognize normal and more importantly “catch” abnormal images. Examining diagnostic images and providing an analysis to the attending physician is a routine job function. Ultrasound techs work primarily in hospitals, clinics, physician practices as well as in laboratories. However, before you can begin practicing, you’ll need to earn an ultrasound technician degree from an accredited school.