Using sound to see... like a bat's flight through darkness... 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 that reveal inner body structures. These images are known as sonograms or ultrasounds. The sonographer selects particular images, and records them for a physician to use when making a diagnosis, or for monitoring pregnancies or medical conditions. Sonographers may specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, or in a specific area of the body such as the abdomen, heart, or the circulatory system. Diagnostic medical sonographers need good interpersonal skills to calm anxious patients and explain the process in a reassuring way. Sonographers' duties include keeping patient records, adjusting and maintaining equipment, and preparing work schedules. Most work in hospitals and clinics or doctors' offices. To enter the field, credentials may be earned at either the associate's or bachelor's degree level, or by earning a one-year certificate from a college or hospital. Most employers prefer to hire sonographers with a professional certification. When a patient's condition isn't just skin-deep, diagnostic medical sonographers bring what's beneath the surface... to light.
What they do:
Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians. Includes vascular technologists.
On the job, you would:
Observe screen during scan to ensure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to equipment as required.
Observe and care for patients throughout examinations to ensure their safety and comfort.
Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
medicine and dentistry
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
understanding people's reactions
changing what is done based on other people's actions
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Medical procedure coding software
Electronic mail software
associate's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.