Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Career Video
Description: Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians. Includes vascular technologists.
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.