What Does It Take To Be An UltraSound Technician?
If one is in the medical profession and is greatly considering a career as an ultrasound technician or sonographer, they are in for a very rewarding yet challenging position. The primary benefits of this field is the amount of education needed at ultrasound technician schools to become officially licensed and of course the love of being one of the first individuals to see what is going on inside a patient giving them a clearer understanding of their own condition by the time they speak to the doctor.
The Challenges of the Job and Learning Experience
Although being an ultrasound technician can be a very rewarding experience, as with any job, it does come with its set of challenges. It’s important to recognize these specific characteristics to see if they fit the personality and will power of the individual who is considering a career in this demanding field. Most of the day ultra technicians are required to work very long hours and as a result may not get as much time to take a break. They also must have the ability to lift a very heavy person if required, due to any pre existing medical conditions that may make the person immobile. There may also be patients that are fearful or in pain because the ultrasound equipment is touching a very sensitive part of their body, so the procedure will take longer than usual. The visual skill of the ultrasound technician must be very precise when it comes to taking the appropriate images for the doctor to properly diagnose the patient.
There is no question as to the market demand for ultrasound technicians. They are very much needed nationally and internationally due to the variety of jobs that exist ranging from hospital positions to private home care. This is largely due to the growing number of patients that would like the option of at home care,as well as hospital examinations for either medical or aging reasons. Sonographers are needed in homes,clinics, labs, hospitals as well as private doctor offices.
Is It In Demand?
There is also a growing number of patients that enjoy green living or environmentally friendly equipments that are used by sonographers during the examination, this gives them an exciting alternative to xrays or any type of radiation. Most pregnant women will opt to hire a private sonographer to examine their fetus before a home birth; this option is also available in a clinic.
How To Choose The Best Ultrasound Technician School
When it comes to choosing from some of the top ultrasound technician schools, one must carefully consider a number of key factors:
- A two year degree is the very minimal degree program that you will want to take, nothing less because this amount of time is needed to acquire all of the prerequisites needed to have a through understanding of the equipment and the appropriate procedures.
- It’s also important for the sonographer to be comfortable with the vocabulary needed to communicate with both the doctor and patient, so that they can move forward with a decision to treat the patient’s condition.
- The school must also have the proper current and up to date information and equipment to practice on, so that the ultrasound tech is constantly staying technologically competitive.
What Will They learn?
- As a sonography student, one should expect to learn how to use the latest sound wave equipment in order to properly diagnose a patient.
- They will also learn people skills, such as how to properly communicate with all types of patients with different stages of illnesses.
- They will learn how to properly report back to the doctor after recording and capturing images of the patient’s ultrasound
- Gain a firm understanding of the different types of scenarios that a sonographer may encounter, including anomalies and a complete understanding of how the reproductive system can affect other organs.
What Credentials Should Sonographers Have?
Most ultrasound technicians must have at least an associates degree as well as an internship of some sort that allows them to gain real on the job experience. After their graduation they are required to take examinations to earn their official license.
Newly hired ultrasound techs generally need to have strong decision making skills that allow them to take the proper images that will assist the doctor.
Some of the top credentials that sonography schools must have is a workshop or laboratory where the students are getting hands on experience with the tools and will have one on one time to speak with their instructors. Since there are many circumstances in the medical field or with a patient that can often be inexplicable. It is imperative that the sonographer student is learning about Prenatal anomaly cases as well as other challenging medical phenomena that will prepare them, on a basic level, for these types of discoveries during their practice.
How To Become Certified
Every state will have their own rules and regulations for specific ultrasound technician qualifications, but their are some basic requirements that are universal. Sonographers must complete an examination along with through clinical training at one of the established accredited programs in Canada and the US.
What Are The Rewards?
There are really many rewarding benefits to choosing a career in ultrasound technology. For the health conscious individuals, it is exciting to know that the equipment that is used on the patient is not radioactive and therefore it does not add to the person’s physical condition, it operates solely by sound wave technology. Most Ultrasound technicians enjoy having more of a flexible schedule as well as a very competitive salary, which is often very difficult characteristic to attain in the medical field.
How Much Do Ultrasound Tech Make?
New sonographers will be happy to know that they can start at a bottom salary of no less than $60,000 a year. This is especially true if they attend the basic accredited schooling and training that is required. Others with a graduate degree as well as extensive clinical hands on experience can start at around $80,000 per year.
At the end of the day, with the proper training from one of the top ultrasound technician schools, as well as a balance of actual clinical training with current equipment along with interacting with the patient, a sonographer should be well on there way to an exciting medical career.