Medical diagnostic sonography is a career path that has been growing more popular every year and is expected to continue doing so. Medical sonographers work with sonography equipment to care for and treat patients with a range of medical conditions. These conditions can include anything from pregnancy to viewing tumors that are growing inside of the body. The most commonly experienced type of sonography is performed on pregnant women to view the fetus during pregnancy. This can happen a few times during pregnancy including early on to confirm pregnancy and later to confirm the sex of the baby.
The equipment that is used by sonographers is a noninvasive ultrasound machine. These devices include a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is a handheld device that is pressed against the patient’s skin and which, using sound waves, allows songraphers to see the images that are sent to the receiver. This can include images of a baby or it can include images of internal organs to be used to diagnose medical problems. The use of sound waves makes sonography a much safer method of viewing internal organs rather than x-ray machines which have the problem of emitting radiation.
Students who are interested in a career in medical diagnostic sonography will typically enter a two-year program at a local community college, technical school, or online school. These programs graduate students with an associate’s degree in sonography and allow students to either continue on to further education or begin working in an entry-level position. Once a student graduates they will need to take a test to become certified as a sonographer.
Students who enroll in a program from an accredited school will find that their curriculum includes classes in anatomy, medical ethics, psychology, pathology, and also classes that are specific to using the sonogram machine correctly. The schooling is not easy but if a student applies themselves to the learning they will pick up quite a bit of knowledge that is important to know as a sonographer.
A career in medical diagnostic sonography can be fulfilling and rewarding. The path to becoming a sonographer might have slight differences for every student but in the end they will be left with an education that will allow them to competently perform their job in any type of medical setting. Of course, like any position there is so much more that will be learned once the sonographer is on the job.