Ultrasound Technician

ultrasound techAlthough x-ray images are the best-known technique for obtaining a picture of what is happening inside the body, they are not the only method of creating internal images.

Ultrasound, or diagnostic medical sonography, has some into prominence because of its use in generating images of the unborn child, but it has many more general applications.

As a diagnostic medical sonographer, or an Ultrasound Technician, you would employ special medical equipment which projects sound waves into a patient and, rather like radar, the sound waves create echoes which can be saved as a picture or video of what is happening inside the patient. You would be responsible for preparing the patient, determining the correct equipment settings, and deciding which scans were appropriate for diagnostic use.

Training and Qualifications

You can pursue an education in ultrasound technology at a variety of ultrasound schools, colleges, or technical schools. Most people earn a two-year associate degree, although four-year bachelor programs are also available.

Courses will include some basic science, anatomy and physiology, and a detailed study of the instruments used in ultrasound scanning. There is no formal requirement for licensing to work as a diagnostic medical sonographer, but some employers will favor applicants who have passed registration exams. It is also possible to undertake additional training at ultrasound schools to specialize in subjects such as obstetrics.

Job Outlook

As a trained diagnostic medical sonographer you will find your employment prospects are very good. Like most healthcare procedures, diagnostic medical sonography is in increasing use. It is also an attractive technology because it does not employ radiation. Your most likely place of employment will be a hospital, but the general growth in outpatient care will see more jobs created in physicians’ offices and medical laboratories.