Probably the biggest representation that we have of ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, comes from the television shows, advertisements, and movies we watch. We usually see ultrasound being used during a pregnancy to provide the parents with a look at their flourishing baby. While this is the most famous representation of what an ultrasound technician does, there are many other vital uses for ultrasound technology. Ultrasound technicians play an important role in identifying and diagnosing a wide range of medical conditions that can appear in patients of any age.
Ultrasound technology relies on sound waves to obtain images inside of patient’s body, whether it be of the internal organs, tissue or blood vessels to distinguish the abnormal from the normal. Ultrasound is perfect for observing growing fetuses in the womb because it is non-invasive and does not use radiation, making it completely harmless for the patient it is being performed on.
Only a skilled, knowledgeable technician can perform a quality ultrasound that can later clarify any abnormalities within the patient’s body. Not only does an ultrasound technician have to be a well-trained operator who is familiar with medical histories that will ultimately guide the examinations–they must perform all of these tasks while interacting with the guest and making them feel as comfortable as possible. All of these vital and valuable skills fall under the job description of an ultrasound technician.
How Do I Become an Ultrasound Technician?
After hearing all of the wonderful and crucial work that goes into producing ultrasounds, you’re probably wondering how to become an ultrasound technician and how long it takes to become an ultrasound technician. Well, there are a few routes you can take to achieve this goal.
A one-year certificate program exists for those who already have some experience or are already working in the field of radiology, as a cardiovascular technician, and more. It will typically take about two to four years to become a certified technician, earning either an associates or bachelors degree in diagnostic medical sonography from an accredited program.
What Kind of School Should I Attend?
When it comes to the school you attend and the education you will receive to become a medical sonographer, it is crucial that you attend an accredited school. Online schools for ultrasound exist, but it is extremely important that you verify that these programs will provide you with clinical hours. Classroom work can be done in and outside of the classroom, but the clinical time that will be required for you to earn your degree will not.
How Much Does an Ultrasound Technician Make?
The annual median salary of 2016 for an ultrasound technician was $69,650, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest paid technicians make a median of $48,660 a year while the highest paid makes $99,100 a year. The pay of a technician is ultimately determined by the amount of experience or education a person has received. The more you work in the field and continue to elevate your education, the more you will advance in a career that is in high demand.
The requirements in order to become an ultrasound technician or sonographer include: doing your research before enrolling in an accredited program, completing all of the requirements of an accredited ultrasound program, getting a certificate as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer, becoming licensed in your state if it is required, and further advancing your career.
Once you become a registered diagnostic medical sonographer, there is an incredible amount of room for improvement and advancement that will take you further in your career than you ever imagined. In the field of ultrasound, you can land jobs in a wide range of specialties. To become a successful ultrasound technician dedication and skill are required. To become a successful ultrasound technician, you will also need a vigorous passion and desire to help others through the work of medical sonography.