Job OverviewThe main instrument of a diagnostic medical sonographer is the use of sound waves at a frequency much higher than what the human hearing can detect, which means it is safe to use on anyone, including pregnant women, older people and even children.
The ultrasound waves “bump” into internal organs and then bounce back into a specialized device which then translates them into a real-time image of the interior of the body. This can be useful for other specialists such as radiologists or other physicians, since images provided by a diagnostic medical sonographer can help them detect possible anomalies inside the body, or they can pinpoint problems with soft tissues or other problems which couldn’t be normally detected without the help of these sound imaging techniques.
A diagnostic medical sonographer can become specialized in a multitude of areas of the body. such as abdomen, neurological system or musculoskeletal system. A diagnostic medical sonographer should be well trained in the use of modern technology, and he should also be sociable enough so as to provide comfort to nervous patients while performing the techniques.
A sonographer should also be able to discern if there are any possible abnormalities, which is why they should have a great understanding of pathology in order to tell a real problem from an interference and that by looking at what appears to be a grainy image.Most sonographers are employed in hospitals, while other can work in doctor offices, research of diagnostic facilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the predicted growth rate of jobs as diagnostic medical sonographers is 45.5 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is one of the fastest growing rates among healthcare jobs, which makes it a promising career in the near future.
A diagnostic medical sonographer is expected to earn an annual median wage as $64,380 according to statistics from 2010. The lowest paid diagnostic medical sonographers received $44,900 at most, while the highest earnings were more than $88,490. The highest salaries were associated with sonographers working in doctor’s offices or in outpatient care centers.
TrainingA person wanting to work as a diagnostic medical sonographer can follow many educational routes. People who already have healthcare experience can obtain a one-year certificate, while another option is to get an associate or bachelor’s degree. A typical sonography program would include general classes such as physiology and anatomy, and more specialized classes such as clinical training in interpreting sonographic images.
The first and most basic training is obtained during the educational program. There students can practice with different technologies and techniques, and they learn how to properly interpret sonographic images. Training can also be obtained on the job that allows new sonographers to learn about equipment procedures, other job-related details and employer policies.
Reviews & AdviceAs a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will have the opportunity to work in various offices and health centers, and having rigorous training might make you a strong candidate for numerous positions in radiology or other healthcare jobs. With the predicted increase in sonographer jobs, a young candidate is looking at a promising future.
Besides following an accredited program, it is always best to try to learn new things and to stay in touch with the latest technologies. In order to maximize the chances and opportunities additional training and education is recommended. A sonographer might advance to a position where is allowed not only to diagnose, but also to treat patients – one such position is as cardiovascular technologist.