How would you like to play a key role in today’s healthcare system? How would you like to play a vital role in diagnosing the medical condition of a patient? All that is possible by becoming part of a fast-growing and powerful form of modern medical technology known as ultrasound. As an ultrasound technician, also known as a sonographer, or ultrasonographer, you can join a dynamic and rapidly advancing field in medical imaging.
The ultrasound tech works with equipment and machines that use sound waves to uncover medical conditions in patients. They make images of body parts and organs and of the growing fetus. Ultrasound is non-invasive and does not require the use of radiation or dye injections. This makes the ultrasound tool especially needed when problems arise with the developing fetus.
The ultrasound tech will work with a variety of patients in various healthcare settings to produce images of internal organs and body parts and to detect blood flow. In this field, you will become an important member of the medical team.
If you are thinking of a career in ultrasound technology in Colorado, a number of schools in the state, such as the University of Colorado Hospital at Denver, have been accredited for ultrasound technicians. The field is expected to grow rapidly in the state with salaries that are higher than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At an accredited school in Colorado, you might choose one of these specialization areas to pursue a career in ultrasound technology:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
This procedure uses sonography to make visual images of organs, tissues, and blood flow in the abdominal area and for OB/Gyn. The ultrasound tech prepares accurate findings for the physician. The work setting is generally the radiology lab in a hospital or outpatient clinic. Colleges may offer two options for this specialty: an Associate of Applied Science degree or a Certificate of Completion.
In this field, the tech examines cerebral, peripheral, and abdominal vessels to give vital information to doctors concerning disorders that affect circulation. These techs typically work in a doctor’s office or a hospital vascular lab. Students may opt for the degree or certificate.
Ultrasound techs in this field work with echocardiograms, which use high-pitched sound waves that pick up echoes that bounce off parts of the heart. The types of echocardiograms include: transthoracic, the most common, which gets different views by moving a transducer around the heart; stress, done before and after stressing the heart to check blood flow; Doppler, to check blood through the chambers, valves, and vessels; and transesophageal, which passes a probe down the esophagus to get clearer heart pictures. Techs with this specialty usually work in a doctor’s office or a hospital.
Costs very from about $7,000-$12,000 for this program throughout Colorado depending upon type of program and location. The average salary in Colorado for ultrasound technicians is about $75,000, which is expected to increase as the demand for this healthcare service grows.
Well-trained ultrasound technicians will play an increasingly important role in the future healthcare system. This is a high growth and advancing industry using sound waves that are accurate and important tools in the ever-growing fight against diseases that affect the human body.