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Choosing a Career as an Ultrasound Technician

The sonogram is a valuable diagnostic tool in the medical field. Sonograms allow physicians to view the patient’s internal organs in real time so they are able to provide an accurate diagnosis for the patient’s condition. Many attribute the use of sonograms as a way for mothers to view their unborn babies, but the applications for sonography extends far beyond that. Sonograms can be used to view any organ in the body, be it heart, liver, lungs, brain or gallbladder, the possibilities are endless. In the heart of it all is the technician who deftly performs the procedure on the patient. Sonograms are ideal diagnostic tools for a variety of reasons. First, it needs little or no preparation time, making it quite ideal for patients that need immediate attention. Secondly, it does not use dangerous dyes or expose the patient to harmful rays, so patients with any conditions are accepted. Thirdly, the results are extremely accurate as the pictures can be recorded and seen in real time, making this the tool of preference for physicians seeking immediate results.

Ultrasound technicians can work in a variety of health care settings. Be it the doctor’s office, hospital, private owned diagnostic centers or public health care facilities, they are really in demand as their job growth is expected to rise within the next decade. Interpersonal relationships are prevalent in this job as technicians are continually exposed to a lot of different personalities and they need to use their full potential as someone who is able to establish rapport immediately.

Ultrasound technician’s salary is dependent on a lot of factors. A deciding factor for any employer would be the number of years in experience the technician has had. The lesser the experience, the lesser the salary. Entry level technicians are at a great disadvantage because they only have the experience they gained when they were students, thus their pay starts at a decent $40,000-$60,000 annually. In today’s competitive world, the only way to get ahead of everyone else is through education and perseverance. A bachelor’s degree holder earns a bigger salary than someone who has an associate’s degree. This is because a bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to accomplish, whereas an associate’s degree takes only two.

It is imperative that the school you go to is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Professionals as you would want to obtain proper certification as an ultrasound technician once you graduate. Certification is earned by passing a test provided by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Ultrasound technicians can also set themselves apart from the crowd by specializing in one of the many branches in sonography. These specialties provide a very fine detail into the ultrasound technician’s skills, making it easy for employers to determine whether his presence is needed or not. These specialties include echocardiography or ultrasound of the heart, breast sonography, OB/GYN sonography, vascular sonography for veins, neurosonography or ultrasound of the brain and nervous system, and abdominal sonography for ultrasound that involves the spleen, liver, gallbladder, and bladder.