Sonographers use special equipment to direct non-ionizing, high frequency
sound waves into areas of the patients body, then collect reflected echoes
to form an image. The formed image may be videotaped, transmitted, or
photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
They are responsible for explaining the procedure to the patient,
recording previous medical history, selecting the appropriate equipment
settings, and directing the patient to move in the proper position that
will provide the best view for diagnosis.
By viewing the image on the screen during the scan, sonographers look for
visual cues that would contrast healthy areas from unhealthy ones.
They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnosing purposes
and select the best image for the appropriate procedure. Sonography may
specialize in obstetrics and gynecology sonography, abdominal sonography,
neurosonography, vasculartechnology or echocardiograph sonography, and
More than half of all sonographers works in hospitals. They also work in
physician offices, clinics, offices specializing in obstetrics, and
diagnostic imaging centers.
High School Preparation:
Students interested in a career as a sonographer should take courses in
computer skills, biology, chemistry, physics, emergency medical
technology, algebra, geometry, and English.
There are several entry avenues into the field of diagnostic medical
sonography. They may train for a certificate program in hospitals and
vocational technical institutions. Colleges and universities also offer
formal training in a 2-year program that culminates in an Associate Degree
or a 4-year program that culminates in a Bachelor Degree. Two-year
Associate Degree programs are most prevalent for sonographers. Students
interested in sonography should contact schools for information on
admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
Employment in the field of diagnostic medical sonography is expected to
grow approximately 30 to 32% over the next 8 - 10 years. This is a rate
that is faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.
The increased demand for sonographers is the result of the growth in both
the overall population as well as the growth in the aging population.
Also, growth in this field is spurred on by the health profession move
toward less invasive types of diagnostic procedures.
Average Annual Salary
$39,400 to $63,100
Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
2745 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 350
Plano, TX 75093-4706
Phone: (214) 473-8057
Phone: (800) 229-9506
Fax: (214) 473-8563
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 360
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 738-8401
Phone: (800) 541-9754
Fax: (301) 738-0312 or 0313
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