If you want to go into the medical field but don’t nursing or medical school is the right way for you, you should consider becoming an ultrasound technician. Although most commonly associated with seeing babies before they are born, ultrasounds can and are used throughout the medical field in a variety of ways. They are right at the forefront of expectant joy and of serious diagnoses.
What Exactly Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?
An ultrasound technician is kind of like the scout that goes ahead before the main army. Their job mostly involves observation, but it is very important for the success of the following team of doctors. They not only capture images using sound waves, but they select and even evaluate the best images. They take measurements and make calculations, all to help give the doctor the information he or she needs to make the right diagnosis and treatment plan as quickly as possible.
This important range of activities means that any sonographer must be thoroughly trained in multiple areas. They must know how to use and care for the ultrasound equipment. They must have a thorough knowledge of anatomy, terminology, how to care for and interact with patients, and even common medical problems that are associated with conditions that may require an ultrasound. As they are often the only ones in the room with, for example, an expectant young couple, the ultrasound technician will be the first one in line for questioning.
What Formal Training Is Necessary?
Because of the wide range of skills required, almost all hospitals or clinics will only hire those who have undergone serious training and certification. There are many different degree and certification programs available throughout the country. Most of these are two-year programs that implement a lot of hands-on training. These clinical hours provide the backbone for any job application in the field.
Although not usually required, official certification is given after you pass exams given through various associations after you finish school. There are also many continuing education opportunities available to continue your training, as technology is ever changing.