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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
A Michigan Jobs & Career Portal service.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, also known as Ultrasound Technologists, use complex equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into specific areas of a patient's body to produce images which show the shape and position of internal organs, fluid accumulations, masses, or fetal development. These images are used by physicians in making diagnoses.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may:
Review the physician's requisition sheet to determine the purpose and type of examination needed and special considerations involved
Check the patient's medical history and prior test results
Obtain any additional information from the patient or from other personnel
Select and set up equipment for the test
Plan the procedure and explain it to the patient
Assist the patient in assuming the best physical position to achieve accurate test results
Make a preliminary scan to verify proper machine adjustment and the patient's proper position
Ensure patients safety and comfort by observing and caring thoughout examinations
Complete the final scan and make sure that a satisfactory image is produced by observing the sound wave display screen
Activate equipment which produces a photograph or printout (an ultra sonogram) of the test patterns
Attach identification tags to the photograph or printout
Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis
Maintain a log of tests
Click here to view a brief video of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers at work.
Machines, tools, equipment, and work aids used by Diagnostic Medical Sonographers include:
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may specialize in these areas:
078.364-010 ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGIST also known as Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, use complex equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into specific areas of a patient's body to produce images which show the shape and position of internal organs, fluid accumulations, masses, or fetal development. These images are used by physicians in making diagnoses.
Many Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, especially those working in large institutions, specialize in examining specific areas of the body. Examples of specialists in this field include:
Ophthalmic Sonographers (eye)
Obstetrical/Gynecological Sonographers (pregnant and non-pregnant uterus)
Doppler Technologists (blood vessels near the surface of the body)
In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration Script:
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may work alone or with other Technologists, nurses, aides, and clerical staff in a medical laboratory or special examination rooms. They may also perform ultrasound examinations at the bedsides of critically ill patients. They work under the supervision of a physician and may be supervised by a senior Ultrasound Technologist as well.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers usually work a 5-day, 40-hour week. They may be required to work overtime during emergencies. Some Diagnostic Medical Sonographers might be assigned rotating work shifts and scheduled for 24-hour-on-call duty. They may be required to purchase their own uniforms.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may join the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or the Michigan Sonographers Society. Members are required to pay periodic membership fees.
You Should Prefer:
You Should Be Able To:
Math Problem You Should Be Able to Solve:
How long does it take sound to travel 3.5 kilometers in air if the temperature is 30 degrees celsius?
Reading Example You Should Be Able to Read and Comprehend:
For there to be sound waves, there must be a disturbance or vibrations in some medium. This disturbance may be the clapping of hands, or the skidding of tires as a car comes to a sudden stop.
Writing Example You Should Be Able to Produce:
You should be able to write a report to the physician explaining the results from your test.
Thinking Skill You Should Be Able to Demonstrate:
You should be able to decide the best position for the patient to be in so you can get the most accurate results.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may become certified and use the title Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). Candidates for certification must meet specific education and experience requirements and pass an examination given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Exam questions are in a multiple-choice true- false format. RDMS's are also required to obtain 30 hours of continuing medical education credit during each 3-year period following initial certification.
NOTE: On-The-Job Training provided by the employer or a High School Diploma or Equivalent or a Certificate (program of up to one years of study beyond high school) or an Associate Degree (two years of study beyond high school) may qualify a person for this occupation.
The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in the Career Exploration Script:
0700 CAREERS , 0900 COMMUNICATIONS , 1000 COMPUTERS , 1200 ELECTRONICS , 1800 HEALTH & HEALTH CAREERS , 2200 MATH , 2600 PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO , 2900 SCIENCE , 3300 TECHNOLOGY
***VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS***
There are no Vocational Education Programs related to this Career Exploration Script
Students should obtain the local Education & Training Opportunities for information on what happens to students who successfully complete a program. This information is available at each high school or career/technical center.
054 ELECTRODIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY
Programs in Electrodiagnostic Technology provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed to use diagnostic equipment such as electrocardiograph and ultrasound scanning machines.
Courses vary with the type of equipment but may include:
There are no Apprenticeships related to this Career Exploration Script.
***MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS***
There are no Military Programs related to this Career Exploration Script.
Since Diagnostic Medical Sonography requires specialized training, opportunities for experience are limited. Volunteer work in hospitals or work as patient care aides or nurse aides/orderlies may provide an opportunity to observe the work of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Postsecondary electrodiagnostic technology programs may provide opportunities for experience also.
School-to-Work opportunities include:
Job shadowing experiences
Touring a local Diagnostic Medical Sonographer employer
Volunteer work with a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer employer
Community service work with an agency
Direct application to employers is the most common way of entering this field. Assistance in locating jobs may be available from schools that offer ultrasound technology programs and from newspaper want ads. The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers provides a job placement service for its members. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as:
You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services.
Earnings of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers vary according to their education, experience, and certification and type, size, and location of the employer.
Nationally, the annual salaries (mid 2010) of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers who were employed by hospitals and related institutions were:
The median yearly earnings of "all" workers in the U.S. were $38,459 in 2009.
In Michigan hospitals, the annual salaries (2010) of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were:
Most Diagnostic Medical Sonographers receive paid vacations and holidays; paid sick leave; life, accident, health, and disability insurance; and pension plans. Those employed by hospitals may also receive dental and optical insurance. These benefits are usually paid for, at least in part, by employers.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may advance from staff Technologists, specializing in one or more techniques, to supervisor, instructor, or administrator, depending on their education, skills, experience, and certification. Some may enter jobs in industry as technical advisors and sales representatives for ultrasound equipment and supply manufacturers.
Nationally, there were more than 50,300 Diagnostic Medical Sonographers registered in one or more specialties by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in 2008. Employment is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2018. Advances in medical knowledge and the expansion of hospital health services are creating an increasing demand for the services of well-trained Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. There is a shortage of Sonographers in many areas of the country. Good employment opportunities are expected in both urban and rural areas. The industry distribution of Medical Diagnostic Sonographers looked like this:
To find employers, click Employer/Business Locator.
In Michigan, there are about 1,700 employed Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Employment of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in Michigan is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2018. An average of 50 annual openings is expected, with 25 openings due to growth and 30 to replacement of workers who retire, die, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Most Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were employed in private hospitals. Others worked in clinics, physicians' offices, and other health care facilities. The outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in Michigan is expected to be good. However, competition for jobs is expected to increase.
Opportunities will be best in hospitals, as more hospitals expand their radiologic departments to include diagnostic sonographic services. Also, the growing acceptance of diagnostic medical sonography as a common part of obstetrical and gynecological care will increase employment in this field.
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