Sonographers are members of the healthcare team who are in charge of the diagnostic procedure, sonography. There are certain misconceptions about what a sonographer does and what his or her responsibilities are as a healthcare provider. In 2014, there were roughly 58,250 sonographers working in the US. They had great annual wages and employment was predicted to get even better in 2014.
Outlook in the next ten years
According to the recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment levels of sonographers are predicted to increase by 46 percent between 2012 and 2022. That accounts for an additional 27,000 jobs in ten years. They have a much higher growth rate compared to the total for all occupations, which is only at 11 percent. Compared to similar occupations such as cardiac and vascular technicians, the 46 percent growth rate of sonographers cannot be beaten as well. Complete information on job outlook can be found on the website http://www.ultrasoundtechniciancenter.org/.
Responsibilities and duties
Generally, a sonographer’s responsibilities to the patient are focused on preparing him or her for the procedure and providing aftercare. Preparation involves history taking, health education, and proper positioning, as well as reassuring the patient of his or her safety while the sonogram is being taken. Aftercare typically involves the same things: positioning, health education, and reassurance.
- Take the patient’s related health history (focused assessment)
- Answer any questions regarding the procedure and possible outcome
- Operate the sonogram machine to obtain diagnostic images
- Analysis of the images, with either abnormal or normal findings, and make recommendations of further testing and possible treatment
- Record findings
Sonographers are not confined to abdominal sonography and OB-GYNE cases. There are several specialties that they can study and get certified in. The most popular by far is cardiovascular sonography, because of higher pay and better job outlook (learn more here). Other specialties are:
- Breast sonography
- Musculoskeletal sonography
- Pediatric / pediatric cardiovascular sonography