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Ultrasound Tech: What it is, and Why it might be right for you!

Are you interested in entering the medical field? Have you considered Medical Assisting, or phlebotomy, but not sure if they are the right fit for you? Maybe it’s time to consider Ultrasound Technology! At NCE, we train motivated students just like you to enter this highly rewarding medical field.

Ultrasound technology is used in healthcare to produce images of internal organs, soft tissue, and blood vessels, as well as to observe developing fetuses in the womb. Ultrasounds use sound waves, which makes it a less expensive diagnostic method than other imaging techniques, such as MRI or CT scans. As a result, ultrasound is often the preferred, first-option exam. Because ultrasound technology is non-invasive and does not use radiation, it is perfectly safe and harmless in trained hands.

Indeed, successful ultrasound exams depend upon the skill of the operator. Ultrasound Technicians must possess a strong knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, as well as mastery of the technology itself. An effective ultrasound exam requires a well-trained operator who can correctly position the patient and record accurate images, distinguishing the normal anatomy from the abnormal.

So what exactly does an Ultrasound Technician do? As skilled clinical technicians, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, commonly called Ultrasound Techs, perform ultrasound studies ordered by physicians. Ultrasound Technicians perform the requested procedures and record anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data. Ultrasound Techs collect the sonographic data and note any other relevant observations made during the procedure. By gathering this data, Ultrasound Techs help doctors to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases.

An Ultrasound Technician’s duties are not solely technical, however. Often, Ultrasound Technicians are responsible for taking a patient’s medical history and explaining observations made during the exam to the patient. Because Ultrasound Techs interact directly with patients in this way, it is imperative they have a good bedside manner.

Common daily duties of an Ultrasound Technician/ Diagnostic Medical Sonographer include:

  • Verifying patient history and health status
  • Operating ultrasound equipment, recording and analyzing findings in real time during the exam, and communicating findings with interpreting and referring physicians
  • Selecting and capturing the best images, taking measurements and making calculations
  • Evaluating tests and images relating to a patient’s condition
  • Communicating with patients and physicians as needed
  • Consulting with medical professionals on patient results

Ultrasound technology is most commonly associated with prenatal care, and while performing ultrasounds on expectant mothers may be an important and exciting part of the job, there are actually many more applications of diagnostic medical sonography. The field of ultrasound has several different specialties, including OB/GYN, breast, vascular, cardiac, abdominal, ophthalmic, interventional, and more. Because of this range, students of ultrasound technology can find a niche that best suits their particular interests and talents.

Ultrasound Technicians may be employed full- or part-time. In the United States, approximately 60% of Ultrasound Technicians work in hospitals, while others work in private physician offices, outpatient diagnostic imaging clinics, medical and diagnostic laboratories and outpatient care centers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay for an Ultrasound Technician is $35.19  per hour, or $73,200 annually.

With the Healthcare industry in the United States booming, now is a great time to enter the medical field! Due to an aging population, increasing life expectancies, and more people than ever before with health insurance, there is an ever-growing demand for medical professionals. According to the BLS, employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding about 2.4 million new jobs! Securing a job as an Ultrasound Tech is a safe bet; as demand for less invasive diagnostic techniques continues to grow, the demand for Ultrasound Technicians continues to increase as well.

If you are highly motivated individual, ready to train for a career in this exciting field, NCE can help you make your dreams come true! At NCE, we train students just like you to enter the field of diagnostic medical sonography. With training from NCE, you can begin a rewarding new career as an Ultrasound Technician!