Choosing a Sonography Specialization
Ultrasound, or diagnostic medical sonography, is a diagnostic imaging tool that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to generate internal images, such as of a patient’s tissues, tendons, muscles, blood flow and internal organs. These images can provide important information for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions and diseases. Ultrasound is increasingly used to help diagnose internal medical conditions because, unlike other medical imaging techniques such as X-rays or CT scans, ultrasound doesn’t emit radiation into the body. This has made ultrasound the most popular method for internal diagnostic testing, particularly for pregnant women and babies, who are at high risk for complications associated with radiation. However, there are a number of other ways that ultrasound is used to identify and diagnose medical conditions. Following is a list of some of the more common ultrasound technician career specialties:
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- Obstetrics,and Gynecology Sonographers work exclusively with women to monitor their reproductive organs and track the health and development of fetuses during pregnancy.
- Breast Sonographers conduct ultrasound scans using a sound frequency specifically targeted for breast tissue to evaluate tumors and other abnormalities found in mammograms or physical exams.
- Musculoskeletal Sonographers scan for injuries or abnormalities to the muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves assisting orthopedic surgeons and sports physicians in their diagnosis and treatments.
- Abdominal Sonographers specialize in generating images of the internal organs and tissues located within the abdomen such as the liver, pancreas, spleen and gallbladder.
- Echocardiography Sonographers, specializing in echocardiography (EKG) are trained in the evaluation and imaging of the heart, its related valves and vessels, and blood flow to and from the heart.
- Neurosonology Sonographers are specially trained to use ultrasound imaging on the brain and spinal cord.
- Ophthalmology Sonographers perform diagnostic tests on the eyes and surrounding muscles and tissue.
Of course there are other sonography specialties as well. If any of these specialties have convinced you to explore ultrasound schools in your area, use the above search box to find a program that is right for you. It only takes a minute and you can contact as many schools as you like, free and with no obligation. So why not start you career in sonography right now?