Have you ever been surprised, looking at the team working in the healthcare industry? Have you ever thought about a day in the life of a sonographer? Are you planning on becoming a sonographer, but need clarification about the roles and responsibilities?
In this article, you will learn in detail about a day in the life of a sonographer and the roles and responsibilities they have.
What Is the Role of a Sonographer?
Sonographers are investigators in the medical field. The role of a sonographer is to determine if the structures are normal or abnormal, sonographers use their expertise in ultrasound, technical proficiency, and understanding of the human body. They can then modify their study based on their findings. Doctors utilize this information to decide on the patient’s therapy or next steps.
Reason to Choose Sonography as a Career
In general, selecting a career requires a lot of thought. It can take time to identify your talents and areas of enthusiasm. If you love working in healthcare and are interested in offering services to address their concerns, sonography may be a good career choice for you. The following are a few reasons to choose sonography as your career.
CHOICES IN YOUR CAREER
Being a sonographer opens the door to many career choices. There are various options in sonography to help diagnose and treat medical issues. You can choose the area of expertise you feel most comfortable with. Some of the career choices for sonographers are:
- Diagnostic cardiovascular sonographer
- Pediatric sonographer
- Abdominal sonographer
- Vascular sonographer
- Musculoskeletal sonographer
- Breast sonographer
- Neurology sonographer
- Gynecology sonographer
- Obstetrics sonographer
As of now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth of 15 percent employment of sonographers is projected from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. Over a period of ten years, there will be, on average, 10,100 vacancies for sonographers.
As of May 2021, the average salary a sonographer makes is approximately $36.24 per hour. Salary may vary based on the candidate’s experience, qualifications, location, and industry education. The lowest 10% earned less than $59,640 a year, while the highest 10% earned more than $101,650 a year.
WORK WITH BOTH DOCTORS AND PATIENTS
Sonographers work with doctors to provide images during sonograms. Sonographers may get professional fulfillment from their interactions with medical professionals throughout the workday. Since the diagnosis can change patients’ lives, working closely with patients can be a rewarding component of a sonography career.
The Daily Life of a Sonographer
The technician usually starts the day by preparing examination rooms for conducting tests. They discuss the medical history of their charges and the planned sonography procedure with the doctors. Before the exam, the patient receives instructions. They place patients on examination tables and give them the necessary protection by the established safety regulations.
According to the doctor’s orders, they operate the ultrasound equipment to carry out the testing. One of the primary prerequisites is competent machine usage. Each inspection is performed using the appropriate frequency and transducer diameter selections. The ultrasound tests are then carried out.
A specialist in ultrasonography may also use oscilloscopes, cameras, and video recorders to get images. The graphs would then serve as permanent records of the test results. They also look at the images to see whether there is anything wrong with the patient.
Examining abnormal anatomy expands the scope of the examination. After the scan, the technician creates the diagnostic medical report and adds their specific expertise to it. Then the sonographer inputs the billing fees into an electronic system. Utilizing cutting-edge equipment for the scanning process. Using ultrasonic waves, the patient’s body parts can be seen.
The concerned radiologist receives the ultrasound images after they capture and analyze them. Since the majority of ultrasound devices now use digital technology, sending images through the computers of the various departments is more effective and quick. The sonographer notifies the patient when they will receive the radiologist’s report when the radiologist verifies the diagnosis.
After the scanning process is finished, the ultrasound images are forwarded to the relevant radiologist, who validates them after analysis. The radiologist is responsible for writing the report. A doctor would examine this report and inform the patient accordingly. Since the radiologist is legally accountable for all images taken, the ultrasound technician does not sign the processed photos when they are finished.
According to the obtained ultrasound images, the radiologist makes the final analytic decision. An average day of work for an ultrasound technologist is 8 hours. On patients, they perform a variety of ultrasound techniques. Outpatient scans, like vascular, obstetric, abdominal, and pelvic scans make up the majority of their job.
Depending on the scan, it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. They choose which images to present to radiologists. They communicate with patients, their families, radiologists, management, other techs, doctors, and nurses during the day.
Responsibilities of a Sonographer
The following are some of the responsibilities of a sonographer:
- Educating patients about sonographic treatments, and responding to their inquiries.
- Ensuring clear images for diagnostic purposes and, as required, making adjustments to the sonographic apparatus.
- Patients are observed and given care during procedures to ensure their security and comfort.
- Helping medical professionals and the invasive procedure teams.
- Cleaning and maintaining the sonographic apparatus.
- Doing medical operations, such as offering emergency treatments, giving oxygen, and checking vital signs.
- Completing the necessary paperwork, and keeping track of patient histories and medical information.
A day in the life of a sonographer is fascinating, and establishing your career as a sonographer may be a good choice if you love interacting with people and working in healthcare. You get to explore a lot of things as a sonographer. You are more likely to succeed if you choose a career you are passionate about.
If you have the desire to start your career as a sonographer, you can start preparing for the exam by taking our free SPI practice test.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SONOGRAPHY AND ULTRASOUND TECH?
Most of the time, the tasks performed by ultrasound technicians and sonographers are identical. The main difference between the two professions is their focus or specialization. Since sonography can be used to examine the entire body, most sonographers and ultrasound technicians focus their work on a particular area, such as obstetrics, cancer, abdomen, or cardiovascular sonography. Because of the wide range of specialties you might choose from, you might also need to fulfill certain educational and licensing requirements.
HOW CAN SONOGRAPHERS ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS?
Continuing education, certifications, and moving up in other medical specialties are all possible options for sonographers to further their careers. Those who have an associate’s degree in medical sonography can continue their studies to get a bachelor’s.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO WORK AS A SONOGRAPHER?
Most sonographers work in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and offices of physicians. Although most are full-time, part-time work is common. Following are some of the best states for sonographers:
- Rhode Island
- New Mexico