One of the most gratifying and stable occupational fields is the area of healthcare. It is expected to create over three million new jobs in the next five years. One area of healthcare is the Ultrasound Technician. This area of healthcare is expected to grow by 18%, much faster than other areas. The field of Ultrasound Technology offers many benefits.
Also known as a Medical Diagnostic Sonographer, an Ultrasound Tech uses ultrasound, or sonography, as a tool in the diagnosis or treatment of many health conditions. Used frequently in Obstetrics, ultrasound is used throughout pregnancy to check placement of the baby, the sex, as well as any underlying medical issues. Ultrasound is also used for many other areas including mammography, cardiovascular, gynecology, and abdominal uses.
Unlike many invasive procedures that may be necessary for the treatment of a patient, ultrasound is not invasive or painful, merely requiring the patient to lie still during the procedure. Unlike other testing that may place you in daily range of radiation such as x-rays, Ultrasounds are safe. They use sound waves that are much too high for the human ear and allow the physician and technicians to observe the inner workings of the human body. This is very beneficial for diagnosis. While some procedures may be painful or necessitate the patient being alone, Ultrasounds do not. While patients may feel ill or want comforted, you may remain in the room with them. This allows you close contact and interaction with people, and allows you to truly comfort them.
The pay rate for an Ultrasound Technician is around $80,000 annually, depending on the area. Benefits include becoming part of a team of healthcare professionals dedicated to the treatment of patients, personal reward and satisfaction through helping others and close contact with patients. There is a high demand for well trained Ultrasound Technicians, allowing you to enjoy security in your job placement.
To become an Ultrasound Tech, you may train in a hospital, through a local college, as well as technical or vocational schools. There are two degrees that may be obtained. The first, an Associates degree, takes two years and is the most commonly obtained degree. A four year degree, a Bachelors’ degree, can also be obtained either directly or by continuing education once you have achieved placement as an Ultrasound Tech.
Advancement is possible through continued education. Along with skills obtained on the job, additional education along with strong managerial skills allow for advancement into a managerial position in this field. While some areas do have one –year educational options, you may find employers may wish to hire someone who has graduated from an accredited institution. There are around 150 such programs in the United States, and many classes can be taken online. Once completed, certification can be obtained with the Association of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.