Are you considering training for a career in sonography? If so, CHCP can help! The job outlook for sonographers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2031. Plus, the field offers a wide range of specialties and opportunities for growth. Continue reading to explore more reasons to pursue training for a career in sonography.

What Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Do?

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a healthcare professional who obtains ultrasound images to help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. Sonographers are highly trained in using specialized equipment to create images of the body's internal organs and tissues. These images can help doctors detect tumors, cysts, blood clots, and other medical problems. Sonography is also commonly used to assess the health of a fetus during pregnancy.

In addition to operating the ultrasound equipment, diagnostic medical sonographers are responsible for explaining the procedure to patients, maintaining patient records, and assisting physicians during exams and procedures. They may also help with biopsies or other invasive procedures.

A career as a diagnostic medical sonographer offers opportunities to work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, imaging centers, clinics, and physician’s offices. Sonographers need to possess good communication skills, pay careful attention to detail, and be able to remain calm under pressure. Working as a diagnostic medical sonographer requires completing formal education and training programs and obtaining certification. 

Why Choose a Career in Sonography?

There are many reasons to consider training for a career in sonography. Here are seven  reasons training for a career as a sonographer may be right for you:

1. You want to work with patients and other medical professionals

As a sonographer, you will work closely with patients to ensure their comfort and safety during procedures. You will also have the opportunity to bond with your patients, providing them with support and reassurance during a potentially difficult time. One of the key skills a sonographer must have is to be able to remain calm under pressure while providing excellent communication and customer service.

In addition, sonographers often work closely with other medical professionals, such as physicians, nurses, and radiologists. Strong teamwork and collaboration skills are essential in this role. So, if working with others in a caregiver-to-patient capacity or with fellow medical professionals appeals to you, sonography could be a good career for you. 

2. You enjoy helping people

Sonography may be a good career choice if you enjoy helping people and want to make a difference in their lives. The images sonographers produce with ultrasound technology are vital to help physicians detect and diagnose various medical conditions. Being adept at sonography procedures and image analysis is essential to patients receiving proper medical services.

In addition to performing ultrasounds and providing important medical information, sonographers also play a key role in supporting patients and their families. Many patients experience anxiety and stress during diagnostic procedures, and sonographers are often the first medical professionals patients encounter after a diagnosis. The potential impact you can have in this helping profession can be significant.

3. You are detail-oriented

Sonographers must be highly detail-oriented to produce accurate images and interpret the images to identify subtle changes that may indicate a problem. Additionally, the medical equipment you'll use daily is highly complex, further necessitating strong attention to detail. Failing to notice small details could mean misusing the equipment, obtaining poor-quality images, or perhaps even overlooking potentially life-threatening pathology. If you have a knack for noticing even the slightest blip or subtle patterns, your skills could be put to good use as a sonographer.

4. You are a good communicator

Good communication skills are essential for anyone who wants to pursue a career in sonography. Excellent communication builds rapport with patients and creates a positive healthcare experience. As a sonographer, you must clearly explain the exam to the patient and answer their questions. If a patient is nervous about a diagnostic procedure, you will need to calmly explain what will happen and help set them at ease.

Sonographers are also in constant communication with their medical team. For example, you will communicate the results of the images you take with the physician, so they can make more informed decisions about the patient's treatment plan. Both your communication with the medical staff and the patient will impact the quality of care a patient receives, so if you're a strong communicator, sonography could be a career choice to keep in mind. 

5. You want a job with variety

A career in sonography can be an excellent choice for someone who prefers a job with a lot of variety. In addition to performing ultrasounds, sonographers may also be responsible for the following:

  • Patient care
  • Coaching other sonographers
  • Recordkeeping
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Other administrative tasks

As you can see, a career in sonography offers a wide range of responsibilities and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Because they often work in busy healthcare settings, sonographers must be able to stay calm under pressure and juggle multiple tasks at once. So, if you are looking for a career with plenty of variety, consider becoming a sonographer.

6. You enjoy challenges

If you enjoy a challenge, you might consider a career in sonography. After all, few fields offer the same kind of challenges as sonography:

  • Sonographers are highly skilled professionals who must be able to use sophisticated equipment and have a thorough knowledge of human anatomy. 

  • Sonography is a highly competitive field, so you will have to work hard to stand out.

  • Sonography is a physically demanding job. You will be on your feet for long periods and may have to lift patients.

Add to these more practical considerations the fact that you must also possess the various soft skills mentioned previously in this article, and you will begin to see the inherent challenges in the career of a sonographer. Sonography could be the career for you if you thrive on challenges and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment.

7. You prefer a constant learning environment

Sonographers must be lifelong learners. The field of medicine is constantly changing, and new technology is continuously developing. There is always something to learn; it is vital to keep up with the latest advances, whether new diagnostic equipment or a new procedure. 

While this can seem like a lot to keep up with, there are some simple ways to ensure you are always learning. You can attend training sessions on new procedures or changes in policy that you need to be aware of, and many hospitals offer continuing education courses to help you stay up to date on the latest advancements in sonography. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure about something, ask a supervisor or another experienced sonographer. By taking these steps, you will continue to learn new things and keep up with the latest changes in your field.

How to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Most sonographers have at least an associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography, and many have a bachelor's degree. Diagnostic medical sonography programs provide the training students need to qualify for certification and an entry-level job as an ultrasound sonographer.

In addition to formal education, sonographers must complete a hands-on training program once they have completed their education and training, and most employers prefer a professional credential. A credential can be earned by taking and passing an exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Be aware that certain eligibility criteria exist for these exams.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at CHCP

If you're interested in an educational program as a diagnostic medical sonographer, The College of Health Care Professions has a program for you. CHCP's Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is designed to help you learn the skills you need to effectively use ultrasound equipment to produce high-quality images and interpret the results. Through a combination of residential and online classes, lab experience, and hands-on clinicals, you’ll also receive training to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to be effective in this field. Upon completing the program, you'll be eligible to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography's certification examination and pursue a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer that will make a difference in the lives of others. Apply today or contact us if you have any questions.