Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and ARDMS Certification Click here for more information
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) Click here for more information
$62K - $88K Annually
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is one of the most highly developed and complex diagnostic imaging modalities of the medical field. The field is rapidly changing and growing and promises to remain an important imaging technique which contributes to improved patient care. Diagnostic Medical Sonography involves the use of low intensity, high frequency acoustical waves (ultrasound) to provide diagnostic information about human anatomy and pathology.
Most diagnostic medical sonographers work for hospitals and clinics. People in this field work in close contact with patients.
Working under the supervision of a physician, the diagnostic medical sonographer creates ultrasound images of patient’s internal organs with sophisticated instrumentation. This is a very important role in the process of a providing a patient an optimal Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam. The sonographer must use considerable judgement and have a broad knowledge base of acoustical wave behavior and instrument variables to create images which represent the actual anatomy and pathology for interpretation by a physician.
Before an exam, sonographers should know each patient’s medical history. They review the medical files and results from previous tests. They explain the procedure to the patients, so they feel comfortable.
When the exam is complete, sonographers select the best images, make notes of their findings and chart the information that a radiologist will analyze to detect a wide range of medical conditions. Therefore, the work of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is vital to patient care. They must get the best images possible for a radiologist to make accurate diagnosis.
Ultrasounds are also used by doctors treating patients during pregnancies. They use this method to monitor the growth and health of a fetus.
The sonographer must be able to communicate with the patient, other employees, and physicians who are responsible for interpretation of ultrasound exams.
- Obtain and record accurate patient history, including prior test results or information from physical examinations.
- Prepare patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring patient to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning patient properly.
- Select appropriate equipment settings and adjust patient positions to obtain the best sites and angles.
- Operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of the motion, shape, and composition of blood, organs, tissues, or bodily masses such as fluid accumulations.
- 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.
- Determine whether scope of exam should be extended, based on findings.
- Decide which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas.
- Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.
- Maintain records that include patient information, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records such as pathology, biopsy, or post-operative reports.
Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:
- Knowledge and use of medical software (medical procedure coding, MEDITECH and patient medical record software).
- Knowledge of computers and electronics.
- Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.
- Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases and deformities.
- Knowledge of physics—prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, atmospheric dynamics and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
- Knowledge of mathematics—arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and their applications.
- Knowledge of the English Language – structure and content.
- Knowledge and use of Microsoft software (Office, Excel, Work Outlook).
- Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, etc.
- Oral Comprehension – Ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression – Ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision – Ability to see details at close range.
- Problem Sensitivity –Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Information Ordering – Ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules.
- Critical Thinking – Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions.
- Control Precision – Ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine to exact positions.
- Written Comprehension – Ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Ability to use scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Desired Work Style Attributes:
- Attention to details
- Dependability – Reliable and responsible
- Independence — Developing one’s own way of doing things
- Integrity – Honest and ethical
- Concern for Others
- Cooperation – Pleasant with others
- Stress Tolerance – Accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations
- Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations
- Initiative – Willing to take on responsibilities and challenges
- Adaptability/Flexibility – Open to change (positive or negative)