Ultrasound technology uses energy in form of ultrasound to treat pathology and assess fetal well-being. The study of this technology is known as ultrasonography, or as commonly called, sonography. Ultrasound technician uses sonography to examine many body parts. Such parts include the heart, abdomen, breasts, prostate, the female reproductive system and blood vessels. People who study how to use this technology are called ultrasonographers. They use high frequency sound waves to produce images of tissues, organs and blood flow in the body. They have extensive and direct contact with the patient. Some of the procedures may be invasive. They are therefore supposed to be passionate about the career in order to be able to interact with people ranging from healthy to critically ill.
Use of this technology has increasingly been adapted in the detection and diagnosis of heart disease and vascular diseases which can cause stroke. Another use of this technology is guiding fine needle when taking a sample of cells from an organ to facilitate lab testing. Sonography is radiation-free and therefore safer than X-rays.
Going through the necessary education and training for ultrasound technician gives you the opportunity to work in one of the fastest growing fields of medicine. You will learn new technology, develop new techniques of working with patients and further education to maintain high quality service delivery to your patients. You can choose the following specialty tracks:
- General(Abdomen and OB/GYN)
- Vascular technology
A student must know their preferred specialty track before applying for a sonography training program.
Basic knowledge in the following areas is very important for education and training for ultrasound technician:
- Anatomy and physiology with lab sessions
- Written and oral communication
- Computer use and information technology
- Medical terminology
- General Physics
- College algebra or higher level calculus and statistics
Imaging technicians work closely with the treatment team. They help in diagnosing patients through imaging equipments including imaging computers. Their training involves learning how to read images of a patient, infer the condition, and relaying this information to the treatment team. They also work closely with the patients when administering imaging scans and ultrasound procedures.
Ultrasound technicians acquire skills that help them to:
- Acquire diagnostic ultrasound images of patient’s anatomy to help in the treatment of pathological conditions.
- Use of safety measures, equipment and techniques. They should act in the best interest of the patient, preventing harm to patient, institution and themselves.
- Be able to make independent judgement in technical performance of medical imaging procedures.
- Use clinical information, knowledge of normal and abnormal and ultrasound findings to make a complete ultrasound examination to be used by interpreting physicians.
- Effective communication with patients, family members, hospital workers and general public. They should be able to communicate and act in a professional way.
Still undecided on a career as an ultrasound tech? Check out their salaries and then decide if it’s right for you.