The up-and-coming technology in the diagnostic medical field is expected to create a high demand for qualified professionals Ultrasonographers. This is because the ultrasound technology is being applied to day in various fields of medicine to perform highly complex procedures as well as diagnostic testing. Basically, ultrasound entails the use of High Frequency Sound Waves which are directed in the human body. The frequency directed in the body sends back echoes of varying intensity, which are then measured, weighted and recorded as images and then displayed on the screen.
Ultrasound technicians work in close consultation with physicians, and operate ultrasound equipment to help doctors evaluate the health and general condition of a growing baby. Ultrasonography is also applied in other different settings such as scanning of the kidneys, liver, spleen, etc. The career outlook for ultrasound technicians is quite promising, with the employment rate expected to increase significantly by circa 19% through the year 2016 – a rate which is considered faster than average.
Employment opportunities are mostly expected to be in mobile clinics, radiology centers, hospitals and in private settings in doctor offices.
The salary expected for ultrasound technologists range from as low as $40,960 to as high as $77,520 annually. It is no wonder the field of Sonography made news in CNN as one of the best paying jobs for an associate’s degree, which takes only two years to successfully complete.
You can enter this competitive, challenging, yet lucrative job market of diagnostic ultrasound technology with an associate’s degree of 2 years, a bachelor’s degree of 4 years, or a vocational certificate. Note that there are several diagnostic medical sonography programs, hence conducting a thorough research before making any move is important and wise. More importantly, you should ensure that the program you are considering is fully accredited and the institution recognized. It is also important to have a strong background in sciences and mathematics to be able to get a chance in any of the ultrasound technician institutions available today.
The associate’s degree (two year medical training program) in ultrasonography is the most common among students today. Basically, the course covers classes in physiology and anatomy, basic physics, instrumentation, medical ethics and patient care. If you would like to pursue this career path but are financially incapacitated, it might excite you to know that most institutions offer financial aid, hence you can enquire from the financial aid office of the institution of your choice whether there are such provisions in place.
As an ultrasound technician, you can work on contract basis which may necessitate lots of travelling to different healthcare facilities in a given geographical area. Still on point, you might land yourself a job with a mobile imaging service provider meaning you will be very mobile, traveling to where patients are and using mobile diagnostic imaging equipment to extend services in areas that would not have access to the services otherwise.
As for full-time sonographers, expect to work for a period of 40 hours a week, and at times you might even be called to work overtime. You can also have evening and weekend working hours scheduled depending on the healthcare institution you are working for, but above all else, you should be ready to report on duty on the shortest notice possible.
You can pursue a very exciting career in the healthcare field but of course with the right training and on a good ultrasound technology institution. Take your time to research more about this career path and see if it would be right for you.