Deciding which career path to take is sometimes difficult… especially if you are talented, smart, and have too many options.
When considering ultrasound training, be aware that this job requires great people skills. Even during academic preparation to become certified, a hands-on clinical experience with real patients is required to complete coursework. After you become employed in the field, conducting patient interviews, preparing people for exams, assisting with transferring people to ultrasound tables, and cleaning patient skin are among the duties you will be expected to perform. The types of individuals with whom you will interact daily will vary widely. You will also take instruction from a variety of people and need to be a good listener. Patients let sonographers know when they need to be repositioned because of pain. Doctors request specific ultrasound images. Nurses, aides, orderlies, radiologists, supervisors, administrators, medical department personnel, and ultrasound equipment maintenance technicians will give their input. Therefore, if contact with the general public is not enjoyable for you, a digital medical sonography career may not be a good match.
To become a successful ultrasound technician, you have to like technology. Most of the tools and equipment are computerized or digital, and upgrades are frequent. Sonographers use ultrasound monitors and video equipment, high frequency transducers, database software, and electronic patient health records systems. Sonographers must be willing and able to learn state-of-the-art technology and attend continuing education workshops or classes throughout their career. Furthermore, the job is very detail-oriented. Recording accurate patient interview responses, documenting imaging results, and comprehensive analysis are all crucial to successful employment as an ultrasound technician. A high amount of detail is contained on imaging screens and the information is used to determine what images are needed. Thus, if you are not a careful worker with great computer skills, you should consider another occupation.
Sonographers have a great deal of professional independence. Many work all shifts or varied hourly schedules and are expected to be on-call for a certain number of days each month. You may also need to be available to assist with emergency situations. Ultrasound technicians often push and pull stretchers and wheel chairs holding patients by themselves, and move their own medical equipment. You must be physically able to perform these duties alone, as well as help patients, some of whom are quite heavy, on and off the testing table and position them appropriately. You will also make numerous important decisions on your own. These decisions impact patient scheduling, the number and type of images needed, and which image details to bring to the attention of physicians. If you require a set schedule, have physical limitations, and are uncomfortable with personal responsibility, you may wish to opt for an easier job.
Most of all, remember that diagnostic medical sonography is a healing profession. Patients who need your services may be contagious or diseased. Most will be unhappy and in pain. Following safety protocols with sensitivity is important. If you meet all of the other requirements and are truly motivated to help others get well and live better, enroll in our program to become an ultrasound technician today. You are a perfect fit for this career!

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