Ultrasound techs, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers or sonographers, operate equipment that utilizes sound waves which create images of the body’s internal structures. Read on to learn how to become an ultrasound tech, the benefits, and how to get started.
What Are Ultrasounds and How Are They Used?
Ultrasounds emit high-frequency sound waves that reflect the body’s internal structures, which are then used to diagnose the patient. Ultrasounds are most commonly used in obstetrics, but can also diagnose other medical conditions and possible professions include abdominal, small parts, cardiovascular, gynecologic, and musculoskeletal sonographic imaging.
What Do Ultrasound Techs Do?
Ultrasound techs perform duties that produce results similar to other diagnostic imaging fields. The difference is in the technology; in this case, sonography uses reflected sound waves to create images of the bodies’ internal structures. They are trained to operate ultrasound equipment to find abnormal problem areas in an image. It’s crucial to ensure that the image is clear for the doctor and other staff to make an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes the tech may be required to obtain measurements, perform calculations, and evaluate the results. As an ultrasound tech, you have a few options regarding where you work, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, diagnostic labs, outpatient centers, and other healthcare facilities.
Job Requirements & Skills
In addition to the technical aspects of the job, an ultrasound tech should also be compassionate and have excellent communication skills. Many patients may be nervous or excited in the case of a new parent about their results, and being able to speak compassionately and calmly is a valued skill. Having technical skills and eye-hand coordination is an essential skill as you will need to maintain ultrasound equipment and ensure a proper image is obtained.
Having a strong eye for detail will come in handy as an ultrasound technician. You’ll need to share any potential concerns with physicians while presenting findings, especially in emergency situations, and ensure accuracy. As an ultrasound tech, you’ll need to be able to cope with stress, remain professional with patients even in difficult situations, and be able to make decisions independently in a busy environment.
Ultrasound Technician Education Requirements
Ultrasound technician training can be completed through formal education or military training. Most ultrasound techs acquire their associate’s degree, though a bachelor’s and 1-year certificate programs are available. You can find certificate programs at community colleges, technical/vocational schools, and universities. Students who want to take the registration examination for certification must also complete clinical education as a requirement of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Some states require certification as part of their licensure process for ultrasound techs, most commonly though, the certification is voluntary.
Getting your certification provides you with a professional assessment of your skills, which can be appealing to employers. The registration or certification for a diagnostic medical sonographer is obtained by passing an ARDMS certification exam. These certifications are offered in a variety of specialties, including breast, abdomen, and vascular sonography. Similar to certified x-ray techs, certified ultrasound techs need to participate in continuing education to maintain their certification.
Ultrasound Tech Salaries
As an ultrasound tech, a typical salary ranges from $52,770 to over $100,000 a year. Diagnostic medical sonography is categorized as one of the top-paying jobs available without a four-year degree. Experience, higher education, and certifications will help you land on the higher end of the scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, the median annual salary for ultrasound techs was $74,320.
As an ultrasound technician, you will have many roles and responsibilities, prepping treatment rooms, scheduling, taking vitals, reviewing patient histories, and more – if you’re someone who doesn’t like monotony, this can be very rewarding as it will keep you on your toes! There’s also a variety of careers to choose from as ultrasound techs can work in areas other than just monitoring pregnancies. Some other options are focusing on cardiovascular health, abdominal organs, soft tissue areas, and other specialties. You’ll also have options to work at hospitals, outpatient facilities, private practices, and different types of healthcare facilities.
How to Apply for Pharmacy Clerk and Tech Positions
At Desert Medical Careers, we have years of connections and have placed hundreds of individuals in medical positions. We review resumes, ensuring your resume matches what employers are looking for to find you the ideal ultrasound technician job.
If you’d like to be placed in an Ultrasound Technician position, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300 or fill out the form below to get contacted by a DMC expert.
- Study.com – https://study.com/articles/Ultrasound_Technician_Requirements_to_Start_a_Career_as_an_Ultrasound_Tech.html
- Ultrasound Schools Info.com – https://www.ultrasoundschoolsinfo.com/ultrasound-technician/
- Ultrasound Schools Info.com – https://www.ultrasoundschoolsinfo.com/what-makes-a-great-sonographer/
- Ultrasound Technician Schools.com – https://www.ultrasoundtechnicianschools.com/articles/ten-reasons-to-become-an-ultrasound-technician/