Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

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Also known as:
Cardiac/Vascular Sonographer, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Sonographer, Ultrasonographer, Ultrasound Technician, Ultrasound Technologist

ABOUT DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPHER CAREERS
Video transcript

Using sound to see - that's the short way to explain the science of sonography. Diagnostic medical sonographers use special equipment to direct safe, high frequency sound waves towards a particular part of the body. The echoes of those waves are collected and turned into moving images.

The sonographer is trained to select particular images, and record them for a physician to use in making a diagnosis, or in monitoring a medical condition, such as pregnancy. They may specialize in such areas as obstetrics and gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, ophthalmologic sonography, vascular technology or echocardiography.

Training for his career is available at many two- and four-year colleges. Certification exams are available from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. An associate or higher degree is required for registration. While theirs is a highly technical profession, diagnostic medical sonographers should have good "people skills." They should be able to calm an anxious patient, and explain the process in a comforting way.

Their duties may include keeping patient records, adjusting and maintaining equipment, and preparing work schedules. Also called ultra-sonography, this profession provides a vital and painless healthcare service.

SNAPSHOT
Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians. Includes vascular technologists.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
MED
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Perform medical procedures, such as administering oxygen, inserting and removing airways, taking vital signs, or giving emergency treatment, such as first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Perform legal and ethical duties, including preparing safety or accident reports, obtaining written consent from patient to perform invasive procedures, or reporting symptoms of abuse or neglect.

Supervise or train students or other medical sonographers.

Record and store suitable images, using camera unit connected to the ultrasound equipment.

Coordinate work with physicians or other healthcare team members, including providing assistance during invasive procedures.

Determine whether scope of exam should be extended, based on findings.

Maintain stock and supplies, preparing supplies for special examinations and ordering supplies when necessary.

Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling exams or special procedures, keeping records, or archiving computerized images.

Maintain records that include patient information, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records, such as pathology, biopsy, or post-operative reports.

Decide which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas.

Clean, check, and maintain sonographic equipment, submitting maintenance requests or performing minor repairs as necessary.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.