20 March 2012
Diagnostic Imaging: A Sound Career in Sonography
One of the main reasons for choosing a healthcare career in todays society, aside from the basic need for a self sustaining income, is the opportunity to make differences in peoples lives. With the demand for healthcare professionals and alternative medicines on the rise, so is the need for adequately educated trained personnel. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to radiologic procedures such as x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Accounting for approximately 50,300 jobs in the United States in 2008, compared to the 214,000 jobs held by radiologic technicians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sonography is a small yet rapidly growing field.
In diagnostic imaging, there are several procedures that aid doctors in the diagnoses of ailments in patients. Radiology, commonly known as x ray, uses radiation to produce a picture on a film. Another common imaging method is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses giant magnets and radio waves to create an image. However, sonography uses sound waves to generate an image. Through the use of special equipment and computers, diagnostic medical sonographers direct high frequency sound waves into parts of a patient’s body through a wand called a transducer. The transducer sends and receives reflected echoes of sound, much like a dolphin uses “echo-location” (Merton).
The initial responsibility of a sonographer is to explain the procedure to the patient and obtain any additional medical history relevant to the exam. During the exam a sonographer determines which sonogram images are of the best quality and documents any abnormal findings. Elizabeth Jackson, a graduate of diagnostic medical sonography, states “There is a diverse spectrum of anatomy a sonographer looks at every day which makes it essential that they know what they...