Diagnostic Medical SonographersDiagnostic Medical Sonographers are also known as ultrasonographers or ultrasound technologists. They use special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body.
Sonographers operate the equipment, which collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers begin by explaining the procedure to the patient and recording any medical history that may be relevant to the condition being viewed.
Although techniques vary, Sonographers usually spread a special gel on the skin to aid the transmission of sound waves.
They then select appropriate equipment settings and direct the patient to move into positions that will provide the best view.
To perform the exam, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers use a transducer, which transmits sound waves in a cone or rectangle-shaped beam.
Viewing the screen during the scan, Sonographers look for subtle visual cues that contrast healthy areas from unhealthy ones.
They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes and select which ones to show to the physician.
Requirements to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- Completion of training in hospitals, the Armed Forces, vocationaltechnical institutions or formal training at a college or university with either a two-year associate or four-year bachelor's degree.
- A State license is not required. However, registration with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) is desirable.
- Completion of 30 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain current registration.
- Detail oriented.
- Good vision.
- Fingerprint clearance may be required by employer.
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Median hourly wage: $28.52
- Average annual wage: $60,908
- Estimated number of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in 2002: 2,800
- Estimated number of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in 2012: 3,400
- Estimated annual job openings: 110
Possible Career Paths
Possible career paths for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers include becoming a: