The medical technology advancements have created a growing demand for well qualified medical technologists. For instance, the medical subsection of ultrasound technology has of late seen an increasing demand for well qualified ultrasound technicians as a result of the increasing demand for appropriate diagnosis by the physicians and other medical practitioners. The patients are also increasingly demanding the sonography process to be carried out on them as they consider it safer than other types of imagery taking procedures.
Ultrasound technicians use ultrasonography equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce high resolution images of the body’s interior. The resultant imagery is used to help the physicians diagnose and devise appropriate treatment plans. This means that the probable cause of the medical issue can be diagnosed without the need to perform invasive surgery on the suffering patient. Ultrasound technicians are charged with the following duties:
- Operating the sonography equipment and preparing and explaining to the patients the sonography procedure
- Taking images by using sonography equipment
- Safely keeping the patients records
- Adjusting and correcting the patient’s position for the image’s clarity
- Choosing the best images for diagnosis and disposing of the bad ones
- Maintaining the ultrasound equipment and setting them appropriately
Although ultrasound is normally thought of in the context of gynecology and obstetrics, sonographers also specialize in other areas, such as neural, vascular, cardiac and abdominal sonography.
Ultrasound technician requirements
Actually, there are no legal educational requirements when it comes to studying sonography in the majority of states. However, most employers prefer employing ultrasound technicians who have graduated from programs that have been accredited and that are registered with such national bodies as the ARDMS. Currently, there are 147 accredited sonography training institutes in the country. Ultrasound training normally takes two years for associate degrees, or four years for bachelor’s degree programs. The two year associate degree is more popular as it is completed in a shorter time. The primary course work comprises of classes in physiology, anatomy, physics, medical ethics and legal matters, instrumentation, etc.
ARDMS is the body charged with certifying individuals who have successfully completed their study. The body does this by offering credentials through a registration process that comprises of passing an exam that is set to test the prospect’s knowledge of imaging principles in general and their know-how of the specialized sonography they intend to pursue.
In a nutshell
As ultrasound technicians work in diagnostic laboratories, doctor’s offices and hospitals, their working environment is usually clean, safe and cool. Moreover, they are needed to be physically strong, as most of their working time is spent standing or lifting patients when they come for sonography procedures. Sometimes sonographers work with mobile diagnostic equipment, thus are forced to travel a lot and work with several diagnostic facilities within an area of operation.
A normal sonographer’s working week comprises of forty hours; this is exclusive of any weekend duties. Apart from normal working hours, they are often required to work evenings, weekends and public holidays due to nature of their work and as specified by their employers.