A diagnostic medical sonographer, or ultrasound technician, works closely with ultrasound equipment and their patients to diagnose illnesses; confirm pregnancy, size, and gender of a baby; and view internal organs to ensure health and well-being. Below is a guide to the diagnostic medical sonography career to help you decide if it is the right path for you.
What Equipment do Technicians Work With?
Most technicians work with handheld transmitters that emit sound waves. When the transmitter is moved over a person’s body an image of the internal organs is created and sent to a screen where the technician can study it for signs of pregnancy or medical abnormalities.
Where Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Work?
Most sonographers work in a hospital or clinic. Within these settings many sonographers specialize and they may work specifically in the obstetrics and gynecology department (OB/GYN). OB/GYN sonography technicians may have their own room and equipment or they might use a portable machine and bring it with them to a patient’s room. Today, many sonographers are also found working in private doctor’s offices as more physicians and patients realize the benefits of using a sonography machine for different types of medical procedures.
Required Skill Set for Sonographers
Like any other line of work sonographers have a special skill set that is common to all sonography. Skills for diagnostic medial sonographers include communication skills, being able to lift 50+ pounds, good eyesight, an attention to detail, and the ability to work well with others. While all of these skill sets are important communication is especially key to the sonography field since you will need to communicate well with patients, doctors, and nurses. It is important to have these skills or work on them so that you can ensure your success in your diagnostic medical sonography career.
How to Get Started
If you are ready to get started as a sonographer the first thing you will need to do is apply to the school of your choice. Once you have filled out an application and sent it in you can begin to prepare for school by reading as much material on the sonography field as possible. If you know anyone in the medical field do not hesitate to ask them questions about their day-to-day work and what it is like to work with patients. This can give you a good idea on what to expect once you are in school and building your diagnostic medical sonography career.