May 28 2022 - Medical professionals use ultrasound imaging to visualize organs, ligaments, and other tissues. This procedure also allows them to safely collect tissue samples or perform certain types of surgery. Generally, it's safer than CT scans and X-rays because it doesn't emit ionizing radiation.
This imaging technique is also known as sonography. The specialists who perform it are called diagnostic medical sonographers or ultrasound technicians. General practitioners and other healthcare providers may offer this service, too.
The requirements for becoming an ultrasound technician vary from state to state. Aspiring sonographers typically need formal education along with professional certification. They must also possess certain skills, such as critical thinking and manual dexterity.
You, too, can break into this field, but first, it's important to know what to expect. Read on to find out what it takes to become a sonographer and what this role entails.
Understand Your Role
Ultrasound technicians use their expertise to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. However, these specialists do more than just operate imaging equipment. They also assess ultrasound images, record their findings, and prepare patients for the procedure.
In this role, you'll operate and maintain different types of ultrasound machines. Therefore, having technical know-how is a must.
There's also the option to specialize in one or more areas, including:
- Breast ultrasound
- Vascular sonography
- Pediatric sonography
- Musculoskeletal sonography
For example, cardiac sonographers perform echocardiograms to detect heart problems. Vascular sonography, on the other hand, can help detect circulatory issues.
How to Become an Ultrasound Technician
While there's no such thing as an ultrasound technician school, you can complete training at universities across the country. At the very least, you'll need an associate's degree in diagnostic medical sonography. After that, you must earn continuing medical education (CME) credits to maintain your certification.
Most clinics and hospitals prefer to hire sonographers certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or other organizations.
Depending on the state, you may also need to obtain licensure. As far as continuing education goes, you can take ultrasound CME courses to meet the ARDMS requirements.
Additional certifications may be needed for each area of practice.
For example, you may have to complete training in echocardiography so you can perform cardiac sonograms. Some employers also require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
Once these steps are completed, you may apply for ultrasound technician jobs in clinics, labs, or physicians' offices. Expect to earn anywhere between $63,000 and $76,000 or higher, depending on your experience, location, and specialty area.
Build a Fulfilling Career in Sonography
As an ultrasound technician, you'll have the chance to save lives and make a difference through your work. Plus, you can earn well above the average and build a fulfilling career in the medical field.
Look for ultrasound technician programs in your city or state and research your options thoroughly. Meanwhile, connect with other professionals in this field to learn more about the job.
Remember to visit the rest of our website for other career tips! Our mission is to help you choose a career path that matches your skills and interests.
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