An ultrasound technician or better known as diagnostic medical sonographer is a member of the healthcare team who is responsible in performing a non-invasive type of medical procedure in which a device is being used to generate images. This equipment creates high frequency sound waves and when it bounces from something inside the body it generates a picture called an ultrasound result. The procedure is vital to check the patient’s current health status regarding any normal growth, occlusion or tumor seen and detected. Usually the procedure is done to check the condition of the fetus inside the womb of a pregnant woman or it can be a diagnostic procedure to detect abnormal growth or blockage in the veins and arteries inside the body. The procedure will aid the doctors on their course of action after seeing the result; it indicates size (width and height) and the exact location of the growth or occlusion.
- Keeping clients records
- Making sure the equipment is clean and functioning
- Explaining the procedure and purpose
For individuals who wish to become an ultrasound technician, they need to attend a formal training program from an accredited school by the American Association of Medical Assistants and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The duration of the program is typically 12 – 24 months which comprises of classroom lectures, laboratory classes, return demonstrations and 12 months of clinical exposure. The coursework usually consists of subject such as anatomy and physiology, medical ethics, patient’s rights and familiarization of ultrasound equipment’s. Completing the course program will assure competency and knowledge towards being an ultrasound technician.
Certification and Licenses
There is no licensure examination for diagnostic medical sonographer but there is a national certification examination. The certification can be obtained from the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS) after passing their national examination. To be eligible to taking the exam, the candidate must applying and be able to submit documents that would prove that he or she has finished the formal training program for two years with additional 12 months of clinical duties. Even though some employers hire those without certifications but most of them require and seek those who holds a certificate.
Jobs and Salaries
There has been a noticeable increase in the interest to become ultrasound technicians because it serves as a good stepping stone for those who want to continue in any health related career. An ultrasound technician can work in hospitals, physician’s office or diagnostic centers with specialization in abdominal sonography, vascular sonography, cardiac sonography or neurosonography. Their estimated rate is 30 – 31 dollars per hour so their annual salary would be approximately 64,000 – 65,000 dollars. According to the latest statistics the employment rate of ultrasound sonographer is expected to grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020. At this rate more and more individuals are now interested to take the training course to be able to have a bright future as members of the medical healthcare community.