Booming ultrasound technician industry:
An Ultrasound is one of the fastest growing areas within the medical domain. Even during the economic recession, the need for echo tech jobs had been in constant demand. Ultrasound technicians are growing in demand year by year. No wonder, it is the most sought-after profession.
You might have seen TV shows, movies or ads using ultrasound tracking changes from a growing baby. Although, this is the most successful use of ultrasound technology. There are other applications as well. Echo techs are also known as cardiac sonographers, echocardiographers. The primary role of an echo tech is to use sound waves to watch the heart and blood pressure of patients. They can diagnose illness, track the heartbeat of a baby and even track changes in the body of a patient. Creating a two-dimensional or three-dimensional picture to produce images of relevant body parts.
Benefits of being an Echo Tech:
- Diagnosing severe health conditions.
- Can locate the tumors in kidney, uterus or liver and even the track the healing process.
- Help the parents and doctors by guiding them with the development of a fetus.
- The best aspect of the job is a right work-life balance as well as contact with patients. With low-stress levels, it is a suitable job for many.
- It has varied job tasks and no monotony.
- With minimal job qualifications, it is a great job.
To join a school, you must have a high school diploma or a GED. You are also expected to have excellent skills in mathematics, computer, and science. It requires science as you will master ultrasound based courses and exams. Familiarity with computers is essential as you will operate computer-based equipment.
How to choose an ultrasound technician school?
As an aspiring Echo tech, you should select the school with the end goal in mind. There are no specific requirements for becoming an echo tech. Individuals can choose between a 2-year degree in sonography and a certificate program. The American Registry should accredit the degree course for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. For the certificate program, you need to have a degree in a related field. Research the potential schools and projects by checking the ultrasound technician school index. Also look for a college in the state of your choice. This area requires an associate’s degree in medical sonography. To move your career forward, you can pursue advanced echo tech certification courses.
You will be able to learn anatomy or heart, disease recognition, patient positioning and so on. Also you’ll complete professional certifications to get a higher salary.
Whatever course you pursue, ensure an accreditation. The courses are not regulated very well, so it’s important to do your research. You can also opt for online classes, but you need to verify the accreditation status. Some online courses provide classroom work and clinical time. It would be necessary to go for clinical practice; otherwise, it will be a total waste.
Ultrasound technicians specialize in using non-invasive techniques to analyze. Your primary responsibility is, to set up, calibrate and operate the diagnostic machines. You will track the heart, position a patient for imaging. Moreover, you also need to communicate with the patient. Explain the procedure, take images and administer medication.
Required Key Skills:
- This field requires a lot of communication with the patients. So, you will have to get excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- You need to have patience and detail oriented attitude to deal with patients.
- Need excellent analytical skills that help in choosing the relevant images.
- You need to be fit and have the physical endurance to adapt to the active job environment.
- Become well versed in operating the medical imaging machines.
- Have a strong knowledge of anatomy and physiology of human beings.
Exciting job prospects and pay scale
Echo tech jobs are always in demand. There is an expected increase of 46% in job growth from 2012-2022 as per U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, BLS reports that the median salary for echocardiographers is $67,530. The range lies from $46,930 to $93,850. By completing your ultrasound technician course, you can expect to earn a good income.
Often the wages are better than others who hold other bachelor’s degrees. In 2013, the average salary was $67,170, and on the higher side, it was $92,070 and more. At the least, you can expect to make $17 per hour, and for the more experienced candidates, it could tilt to $27 and more. With more experience, you can expect to earn more. You can also take up administrative, supervisory roles.
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*pay scale figures are approximate.