Understanding the Role of Ultrasound Technicians


July 23rd, 2008

Ultrasounds are medical images in which high sound frequencies are used to capture images of a person’s internal organs, tissues, and blood flow for diagnosis and treatment purposes.  Ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, perform ultrasounds in an effort to get a better look into what area  of a patient’s body they are interested in.  Ultrasound technician job opportunities are in high demand as the healthcare field, as a whole, continues to grow and the need for trained professionals in the field continue to rise.  Most ultrasound technicians work in hospitals, or diagnostic imaging centers and medical buildings, and can specialize in echo-cardiology, breast sonography, obstetrics/gynecology, abdominal, vascular, and neurosonography.

Ultrasound technicians must be trained and certified to operate ultrasound equipment.  Due largely to the fact that medical technology is constantly changing and evolving, ultrasound technicians must also keep up with trends and new machines, and maintain valid certification.  Ultrasound technicians take readings of the areas of concentration such as organs or tissues, as directed by a doctor or physician.  It is very important for technicians to ensure that the quality of the picture is clear enough for the physician to review it properly, otherwise it will not helpful in reviewing and diagnosing problems or treatments.  The use of specialized ultrasound equipment does not use radiation and is safe for the technician as well as the patient.  Ultrasound technicians may also evaluate the results of the ultrasound.Additionally, most ultrasound technicians must be in good shape, because their job responsibilities include being able to maneuver and move patients during their ultrasounds.  Many colleges and universities offer 2 year associate or 4 year bachelor degree programs for ultrasound technicians, while many technical and vocational schools also offer the training necessary to qualify individuals to pursue jobs as ultrasound technicians.  Job outlook projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that these jobs will grow much faster than the average, with starting ultrasound technicians earning between $53,00 and $58,00 annually.

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