Medical sonographers use sound waves (instead of x-rays or magnetic resonance images) to view images of the human body. Sonographers may be called in to perform ultrasound imaging on women who are pregnant to monitor the development and growth of their baby, uterus, and placenta. However, sonographers may also perform similar tests on other patients to determine the health of other areas of their body. As a sonographer, you may explain the procedure to the patient, perform the test, and summarize the results in a report delivered to the physician.
How to Become a Diagnostic Sonographer
There are many training programs available for those interested in pursuing a career as a medical sonographer. Sonographer training programs are held at hospitals, certain military branches, and technical colleges. Career experts predict that the outlook for sonography jobs is growing steadily. Hospitals currently employ the largest number of working sonographers, followed by private doctor's offices and labs.
Medical sonographers use many different types of equipment and procedures to diagnose patients. MRIs, ultrasounds, and ultrasound machines use radio waves magnets and sound waves to help diagnose many health problems.
Sonographers use ultrasound equipment, utilizing the machine's high frequency sound waves going through the patient's body to record images that may later be viewed on video or still image by a doctor. A sonographer may be responsible for:
- Preparing patients to see a doctor
- Collecting the patient's medical history
- Examining the affected area of the body with a transducer
- Reviewing the images and edit them accordingly to make sure the doctor gets only the most important footage
Sonographers may have different specialties to choose from:
Involves examining the eyes which may help physicians get extremely accurate measurements of a patient's eyes with prosthetic lenses, and getting a loser look at the retina, blood vessels, tumors or any other abnormalities of the eye. The instruments used to examine eyes are much smaller in scale.
Deals primarily with the abdominal organs like the pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, liver, and kidneys. A neurosonographer images the brain, and obstetric/gynecological sonographers examine female reproductive systems.
Sonographers must use neurosonography to check for brain disease or disorders. Strokes may be easily detected by scanning the brain and observing blood vessels.
The student may also learn how to manage the imaging department, patient schedules, and records. They may be dependent upon to service the imaging equipment, and contribute input when it comes to purchasing new equipment.
List of Sonography Technician Schools
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