Diagnostic medical sonography also known as ultrasound sonography is fast emerging as the most preferred non medico careers in the healthcare industry. A diagnostic medical sonographer earns an average salary that ranges between USD 50,000 to USD 85,000 per year.
Hospitals and clinics employ diagnostic medical sonographers to aid the doctors with correct diagnosis with the use of invasive methods. Medical sonography is the use of hi tech medical equipment that uses sound beams and echoes to examine the insides of patients. This method is fast becoming popular as there is no risk of radiation like in x-ray machines. It is a major tool for assessing the health of internal organs in patients. This diagnostic tool helps physicians quickly diagnose problems in the patients.
Diagnostic medical sonography jobs were only available with obstetric and gynecology clinics as it was the best way to examine pregnant women without exposing them to radiation. Nowadays the technology is being applied in various other sectors of the healthcare industry, like in neurology and ophthalmology examinations. Improvements in the ultrasonography technology has given rise to the need for trained professionals to handle the equipment.
Medical Sonography Technology
Diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound sonography is the use of non-ionizing high frequency sound waves on the patient’s body using a transducer. A medical gel is applied locally before transmitting these sound waves. The waves hit the organs and bounce back to the transducer which then transmits them to a computer. The computer will then interpret this data and format it into three-dimensional images of the organs, which can be viewed on a video monitor. The ultrasound technician is trained in using this medical equipment skillfully.
If you are looking to make a career in this field you need to enroll for a training program offered by vocational training schools, community colleges, etc. Eligibility for these programs is having at least a high school diploma. However, students with a high school diploma should also have taken subjects like math and science for their coursework. Healthcare professionals like nurses and radiology technicians also opt for medical sonography training programs.
Training programs last for two years and are very popular with students looking to enter the medical sonography field. Upon completion of the 2 year program students will receive an Associate degree which will assist in securing gainful employment. There also are 4 years bachelor’s degree programs in medical sonography. Students can also opt for specializations like pediatrics, obstetrics, cardiovascular, etc.
The diagnostic medical sonography technician uses advanced medical equipment to diagnose problems. They also have to interact with patients and give them instructions about taking different positions on the examination table. They will have to apply gel on the specific part of the patient’s body which needs to be examined. Maintaining patient records and preparing schedule for conducting the tests are some of the other aspects of this job. Preparing reports and taking images that will help the physician better diagnose patients is an important part of their job profile.
Candidates who have successfully completed their training programs can find gainful employment with hospitals or clinics. Gynecology and Obstetric clinics employ a large number of medical sonographers. Statistics reveal that the average annual salary earned by medical sonographers stands at USD 60,000. Like most other professions the salary figures are affected by the geographical location of the job and experience of the candidate. In states where the cost of living is high; for example, in New York the salary figures are known to reach the USD 75,000 per year mark.
The aging population and the increased spending by the government in the healthcare sector has opened up various job opportunities for medical sonographers. Individuals with good communication and interpersonal skills will excel in this profession as the job entails interacting with doctors and patients.