Do you have a passion for working as a sonography specialist? Are you about to graduate from school, and are confused about what to do in life after graduation? Or are you planning to switch to a different field as a sonographer? Are you wondering what different types of sonographers are available? You have come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn more about the different types of sonographers available, and the places you can work as a sonographer.
7 Types of Sonographers
A sonographer is sometimes called an ultrasound technician and professionally called a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, this is an exciting and fulfilling career. Sonographers have the opportunity to advance in the field by gaining experience, extra certifications, and the required qualifications. The following are some of the different types of sonographers you can consider:
- Diagnostic medical sonographer.
- Diagnostic cardiovascular sonographer.
- Abdominal sonographer.
- Obstetric sonographer.
- Musculoskeletal sonographer.
- Breast sonographer.
- Neurosonology sonographer.
The following are the different types of sonographers in detail.
DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPHER
Diagnostic medical sonographers work with doctors to diagnose diseases in patients experiencing symptoms that require internal imaging for diagnosis. They are also known as sonographers or ultrasound technicians.
These ultrasound specialists typically work in hospitals and medical diagnostic testing centers. They also report directly to the doctor to share the images they have taken and discuss any abnormalities they may find.
The typical duties of a medical diagnostic sonographer include explaining each step of the imaging process to the patient, working with the ultrasound machine, and identifying abnormalities in the images taken.
DIAGNOSTIC CARDIOVASCULAR SONOGRAPHER
Diagnostic cardiovascular sonographers use ultrasounds to help doctors diagnose conditions that can affect the heart and circulatory system. Some experts also refer to cardiovascular sonographers as echocardiographers because doctors use echocardiography to obtain diagnostic images of a patient’s internal systems.
When taking diagnostic imaging, cardiovascular sonographers often use both 2D and 3D images of the heart to study the structure and look for abnormalities, such as blockages or deterioration. Doctors can then use this information to diagnose the condition and prescribe treatment.
A diagnostic cardiovascular sonographer usually works in a medical institution that has a cardiologist on staff. Usually, these positions are in hospitals, but cardiac sonographers may also work in clinics and doctor’s offices.
Abdominal sonographers use ultrasound equipment to obtain diagnostic images of internal organs located inside the abdominal cavity. They can work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that treat patients with conditions that affect the abdomen.
They specifically focus on the abdomen. Doctors can diagnose diseases inside the abdominal system using abdominal sonographers with extensive training. Abdominal sonographers can take pictures of the patient’s abdomen and look for abnormalities, such as tumors, tissue damage, and stones.
Following are some of the areas in that an abdominal sonographer might take images:
- Abdominal aorta.
Obstetric sonographers specialize in taking pictures of the fetus during pregnancy. When undergoing an ultrasound examination, the obstetrician’s sonographer can evaluate the growth of the fetus and track its development, which can help the doctor develop a health plan for the mother to implement during pregnancy.
Obstetric sonographers may also take pictures of the uterus to confirm that the woman is pregnant and to confirm the expected due date of the baby. Most work in facilities with hospitals and gynecological wards, but you can also work in outpatient care centers, private clinics, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
A musculoskeletal sonographer takes diagnostic pictures of muscles and parts of the skeletal system. This can include tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves that are present throughout the person’s body.
Musculoskeletal sonographers often use the images they take to identify conditions that can affect a person’s mobility through joints, muscles, and bones. Because most of the diseases that musculoskeletal sonographers focus on diagnosis can be caused by trauma or accidents.
Musculoskeletal sonographers often work in hospitals, emergency rooms, and other medical settings that treat trauma patients. Following are some conditions that musculoskeletal sonographers may find during their jobs:
- Broken bones.
A breast sonographer specializes in taking diagnostic images of the breast and surrounding tissue after a patient has had an abnormal mammogram or examination. Their work usually involves imaging the breast, tissue, and lymph nodes to look for abnormalities that may indicate a developing disease.
Some abnormalities that breast ultrasound doctors often look for in their patients include lumps, cysts, and tumors. Breast sonography can also help doctors and specialists diagnose cancer because the images taken can show areas that may indicate potential cancer growth.
Their work mainly focuses on breast imaging, and breast sonographer specialists can usually find jobs in hospitals, cancer centers, or women’s health centers.
In addition to ultrasound and sonogram technology, neurosonology sonographer uses specialized tools to capture diagnostic images of the brain. The transcranial doppler (TCD) machine is the instrument that neurosonology sonographers use to acquire internal images of the brain and assist doctors in the diagnosis of diseases such as cerebral palsy, encephalitis, and down syndrome.
To look for anomalies like strokes, epilepsy, aneurysms, and brain tumors, neurobiologists can also utilize a TCD machine to obtain images of patients’ spinal columns and neurological systems.
The majority of neurosonology sonographers operate in hospitals and diagnostic testing facilities with TCD machines because of the specific equipment their line of work necessitates.
If you have been passionate about starting your career in the healthcare industry as a sonographer, you have a lot of choices to choose from. Above are some of the different types of sonographers available in the industry. You can choose the one that best suits you and your qualifications.
Make sure you use our free SPI practice test to prepare for your exam if you are considering sonography as a career or know someone who is.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF SONOGRAPHY?
Sonography is a stable career path. The need for sonographers is great, and employment growth for this profession is anticipated to be strong in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 15% from 2021 to 2031.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO BECOME A SONOGRAPHER?
Although there are different educational options for becoming a sonographer, such as certificate-based programs or a bachelor’s degree. The majority of diagnostic medical sonographers must receive an associate degree to qualify to become sonographers.
When choosing an associate degree program, make sure it is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), as this is what most employers look for. Verify that any specializations you are interested in are offered by the school or program.
WHICH SONOGRAPHER IS IN DEMAND?
You may be worried about which sonographers are in demand, and what work prospects there will be if you’re thinking about going into the sonography business. Because some of the most typical ultrasound procedures come under the purview of these disciplines, OB/GYN and abdominal sonographers are frequently in demand.