Ultrasound Career Guide

A career in ultrasound may likely land you in an educational program that leads to certification as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.  That’s the clinical term for people who operate ultrasound equipment that may be used to conduct medical examinations.  It may be an exciting career and, there may be several educational routes to get you there.

Types of Medical Imaging

Among the imaging options in diagnostic medicine, ultrasound has emerged as a favored technology when possible because it doesn’t utilize radiation, because it is easier on the patient in many cases than an MRI or a CT scan and because it has been developed to the point that sonographic exams produce quality imaging.

X-ray Machines and Computerized Tomography (CT scans) utilize ionized radiation for imaging purposes.  A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine uses sound waves that are manipulated by a magnetic field.  While MRIs pose no radiation danger, they may be expensive to operate and they require a patient to lie very still – inside a tube – for an extended period.

Medical sonography uses sound waves in a different fashion than an MRI machine.  Ultrasound equipment acts like a sonar machine: it sends sound waves into your body and then records the sounds coming back.  Different masses of tissue or bone cause different echoes, and a computer can translate that information into an image.

Safe Imaging Tools New to Medicine

Sonography is safe, is easy on the patient, and may be manipulated by changing the dimensions of the sound waves to produce different types of images.  MRIs technology has impressive potential but also many obstacles to becoming an everyday option for a physician attempting to make a diagnosis.

A career in medical ultrasound may go beyond the picture of the in utero baby that everyone is familiar with.  There are sonograms conducted on many parts of the body, producing clear results for some complicated examinations. 

Ultrasound Technology Jobs

 Medical researchers and talented ultrasound technologists are continually stretching the field into new types of diagnostic procedures as well as expanded uses of sonography in medical treatment.  An ultrasound technician may not only produce images of an in-utero infant for obstetric purposes.  OB-GYN sonography is a specialty of its own, one of several that ultrasound technicians may choose today.

One of the additions to medical ultrasound uses is the use of pulsed Doppler technology that may allow an ultrasound technician to obtain real-time images of blood flow within the body along with precise statistics on the speed and volume of blood movement.  This concept has opened up the use of ultrasound technology to a large number of vascular medical purposes, enabling physicians to obtain distinct, detailed information on arterial blockage and blood circulation.

Many of the most common cardiovascular surgical procedures employ ultrasound technology today to provide images of the procedure in progress.  Sonography has improved the ability to identify cardiovascular health issues and to treat them.  The same has proven true for an assortment of ailments and medical procedures that impact the liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder and other organs found in the abdominal cavity.

To a lesser degree ultrasound may also contribute to diagnostic methods for neurological problems, especially physical malfunctions in the brain.  For the first time physicians may capture images in sections of the brain and in the nervous systems of newborn infants without fear of radiological damage.

Ultrasound’s contribution to medical technology may be found in the diagnosis and treatment for two of the nation’s leading killers: heart disease and cancer.  The career opportunities are only going to grow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ultrasound and Sonography Schools in the U.S.

It’s a random list of schools where ultrasound programs may be found. Sonography is still coming into its own as a medical specialty, and many schools may still teach it as continuing education for working radiographic professionals.  But community colleges in particular may pick it up as a career specialty as the need for more Diagnostic Medical Sonographers expands.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ultrasound & Sonography Specializations

As sonography has proven to be a safe, accurate and versatile form of medical imaging, the variety of uses for it has expanded to the point that ultrasound technicians may often choose to specialize in one or perhaps two specific areas. Here are the principal areas of specialization as currently defined in ultrasound medical imaging.

Vascular Sonography

Medical sonographers who specialize in vascular ultrasound may apply their skills to tests that involve the arteries, veins and capillaries that are used to move blood…

Ultrasound Tech Jobs

Ultrasound techs work in medical service centers. The only question with regard to the future is to what degree the methods or facilities for diagnostic medical examination change because of a shift in medical insurance and the orientation of medical care.

Ultrasound technicians may be employed at hospitals. Some of those are categorized as general medical hospitals, others as surgical hospitals. Ultrasound technicians may also be employed in physicians’ offices. Medical practices today have grown to include dozens, even hundreds of doctors who have banded together for insurance purposes and for negotiating strength with…

Ultrasound Technician Education Requirements

Ultrasound medical imaging is a field for which there are several academic options. There may be no licensure requirements for medical sonographers. In the not-too-distant past, radiologic technicians simply learned how to use the equipment and did the exams themselves.

All of that is rapidly changing, with the possible exception of licensure although it is probably inevitable. Today you may train in medical sonography at a vocational school, a community college or a university.

Certificate Programs


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Private: Ultrasound Technician Training

Ultrasound technicians may have skill sets like mathematic abilities, people skills, a gift for working with diverse technology, and interest in biology. If you have this or a similar set of abilities, you might want to consider ultrasound technician school.