How to Become a Sonographer

If you become a sonographer, you will be capturing images with the help of sound waves. A sonographer is sometimes referred to as an Ultra-sonographer. A sonographer is a trained person using ultrasound equipment to direct high frequency sound waves to specific portions of the body while capturing their reflected echoes (sonogram or scan). These echoes are then measured and analyzed to prepare a report. The report is based only on their measurements, so a sonographer has to be precise and accurate in measuring. A sonographer is a medical technician and not a physician.

How to Become a Sonographer

Sonography includes using high tech instruments to create and interpret images. You will need critical, analytic and interpreting skills. If you think you hold these types of traits, then becoming a sonographer might be a prudent career option for you. The critical steps to become a sonographer are as follows:

  • After high school, you should focus on graduating with a sonography degree from an accredited college. You can get a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. A few community colleges offer these programs, and they require basic college courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, math and writing skills.
  • Obtain certification as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS). To acquire certification from an unaccredited college, you will be required to perform an additional year of professional experience after graduation before you become DMS-certified.
  • Register with the American Registry for DMS and become a Registered Professional Sonographer (RPS). Generally, an RPS is paid higher than those who do not take this step.
  • Join any small hospitals or sonography centers and earn on-the-job training while applying your sonography skills and knowledge in analyzing and reporting before applying to any more permanent organizations.

Types of Sonographer

There are many areas of sonography. Some of them are obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, breast or abdomen imaging, echocardiography or neurosonology. So, you could become a specialist in one or two of the areas and then become an expert in any one of them.

Tips for Sonographers

To succeed in this career, you have to be comfortable in performing invasive procedures and supporting patients physically and emotionally. You have to be in a position to explain the queries of the patients and make them feel comfortable. You have to be physically strong since standing and lifting patients and equipment is a component of this position.

You must also develop additional skills in recording, using computers, scheduling patients’ appointments and managing a team of sonogoraphers to advance in your career. You have to develop your interpersonal skills also as you have to work with a team of health care providers.

Final Word

There are various diagnostic procedures used when doctors are deciding about the course of action to take with a patient. Sonography is one such procedure, and it is safer than some others, as it does not involve using radiation that might cause accidental or unnecessary exposure. Sonograms (scanned images) are vital in analyzing and diagnosing various ailments like heart diseases, cancers, reproductive system disorders and problems of the prostate and blood vessels. They are also used in tissue biopsy procedures. Sonographers are thus essential to the physicians to help determine the affliction and decide upon a treatment plan.