What is an ultrasound sonographer?
The job of an ultrasound sonographer is quite similar to that of a medical detective. They use ultrasound imaging and their extensive training, skills, and understanding of the human anatomy to find clues and abnormalities inside the patient’s body. Once they have thoroughly investigated, they share their findings with the doctors, determining the necessary course of treatment.
However, not all ultrasound sonographers become general sonographers. Some also choose to specialize in a specific sub-specialty. Some of these include:
- Vascular technologists: these create images of blood vessels in the body
- Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers: They are in charge of taking images of reproductive organs.
- Neuro-sonology sonographer: these are responsible for imaging the human brain, spinal cord, as well as the nervous system
- Musculoskeletal sonographer: They take images of our muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, etc.
- Echo-cardiographer: They are responsible for visualization in the heart’s valves and arteries.
What is sonography?
Sonography is typically a non-invasive and painless procedure. It is done by using high-frequency sound waves. These produce images of different body organs, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside one’s body. The images captured show the flow of blood, which helps physicians, as well as other specialists, come up with a diagnosis followed by a treatment plan.
Duties and responsibilities of an ultrasound sonographer:
The key duty of an ultrasound sonographer is to make a video of the anatomy, pathology, and physiology of an individual by using the Ultrasound Sonography machine and then report it to the physician. However, the job of an ultrasound sonographer does not end there. His other duties involve:
- Plan and maintain patient appointments. This also includes verification of patients and double-checking their physician’s orders.
- Explaining the sonography procedure to patients as well as answering all their queries and doubts
- Operate the sonography machine.
- Review the sonography images and videos for their quality. Part of there is also to assess whether the image is of good quality and clear enough for the physician to diagnose.
- Identify normal as well as abnormal imaging results.
- Study the sonography scans and write reports based on the test results. These reports are then passed on to the necessary physicians who diagnose patients based on the sonography findings.
- Assist radiologists, especially with sonography-guided biopsies and other sonography vascular procedures.
- Document and maintain a complete record of all procedures conducted, equipment used, and follow-ups (if any). An ultrasound sonographer may also add relevant medical notes where needed.
- Properly maintaining the sonography machines. This includes keeping it clean and hygienic, regular maintenance, and reporting any equipment failure.
- Alert medical staff if any abnormalities are noted so that they can take timely action.
- Work both individually as well as part of a team with minimal supervision.
- Display flexibility by maintaining and managing different projects at the same time.
- Display strong work ethics and a friendly, cooperative demeanor.
- Attend training, workshops, and seminars to stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in sonography machinery.
Educational requirements for the job of an ultrasound sonographer
The job of an ultrasound sonographer is a lucrative career. Its demand is expected to rise in the future with a projected growth of 12%. The salary that one can expect on the job of an ultrasound sonographer may depend on several factors. These include:
- Geographical location
According to statistics, the average salary for the job of an ultrasound sonographer ranges from $63,000 to $90,000 annually.