Ultrasound technicians are an integral part of the health care team. Also known as ultrasonographers or sonographers, they are able to see the parts of the body’s anatomy and see physiological structures in real time with the aid of an instrument called a transducer. The transducer works by emitting high frequency sound waves throughout a specific part of the body, where it bounces off the targeted organ. The reflected echo or wave is then transformed into an image that can be captured in real time. The images are richly detailed and depending on the type of machine used, can even show a graphical representation of the organ.
The most common ultrasound procedure is done on pregnant women. Here, ultrasound technicians get to see the miracle of life unfold before their eyes as they aide the patient in seeing their baby for the very first time. The practice of a sonogram technician is not limited to pregnant women; diagnostic medical sonography is now a growing trend amongst physicians for a non-invasive approach to finding tumors and blockages in major organs, arteries, and even muscle. An ultrasound technician can greatly assist a lot of people in the medical community without carrying potential risks that could affect his overall health.
As expected, an ultrasound technician needs to be well versed in medical terminologies, anatomy and physiology in order to get the job done. He also needs to be good at providing instructions to patients and handle them professionally. A good background on technology decreases the learning curve for those who are starting out on the field. During the actual clinical exposure, ultrasound technicians need to have a keen eye for exquisite detail as the slightest chance of poor imaging techniques may lead to the wrong treatment or diagnosis. An ultrasound technician is not allowed to divulge private information to anyone. If he sees an anomaly in the images, it is his responsibility to point it out to the physician or nurse practitioner for further study.
The practice of an ultrasonographer is not strictly limited to diagnostic techniques. With proper training and education, the sonographer can learn how to treat chronic types of pain, break kidney stones and even treat cataracts.
When looking to work as an ultrasound technician, you need to get proper education from certified schools. It helps to study at a school accredited by the Commission an Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as graduates can register to become professional sonographers at the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Graduates who are registered professional sonographers earn the average of $ 57,000 in a year. Those who are already in the medical field like registered nurses need a year’s worth of education in order to become a sonographer. A high school graduate may take as long as 2-4 years in order to complete a course from an accredited school.