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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 ophthalmologic sonography.

Work Environment:

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.

College Requirements:

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 Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

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

Salary Range
$39,400 to $63,100

Professional Organizations:

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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