A diagnostic medical sonographer (also known as an ultrasound technologist), uses diagnostic imaging technology and soundwaves to provide the most detailed images of what’s really going on inside of patients. Most people associate sonography with pregnancy. However, it’s much more than that. Sonographers can also see inside the abdomen, breast, heart, blood vessels and more recently, musculoskeletal problems.
A diagnostic medical sonographer’s responsibilities can vary, but most likely include:
- Reviewing patient medical history, recording image results in patient records and coordinating care with various departments within the clinic or hospital
- Preparing patients for procedures and educating them throughout the ultrasound
- Maintaining diagnostic equipment
- Generating images through the use of the sonographic equipment and reviewing images to make sure they’re good quality for diagnosis
- Identifying abnormal and normal image results and communicating the results with health professionals
When you’re a student at Pima Medical, the courses you take are designed to help you gain a solid combination of the skills listed above. You will learn pathophysiology, ultrasound scanning techniques and protocols, patient care, medical communications and professional medical ethics. The associate degree program takes approximately 22 months to complete and prepares you to work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical and diagnostic labs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby boom population ages, the need to diagnose medical conditions—such as blood clots and heart disease—will likely increase. Imaging technology is a tool used in making these diagnoses.