Today, ultrasound technology allows unprecedented opportunities to conduct internal exams of parts of the human body. The tool, while powerful and painless, is a very advanced piece of equipment which requires a skilled operator: a diagnostic ultrasound technologist.
The primary responsibility of these technologists is to operate sonogram machinery, which uses sound waves that reflect off of internal objects in the body; the ultrasound machine then reads the reflected sound waves and translates them into visual images. The results are stored and shared with physicians who will interpret the results more thoroughly in cases which require further analysis.
Diagnostic ultrasound technologists are more than just machine operators - they are there with patients, sharing the good news of a baby's heartbeat or helping them through the difficulty of finding evidence of disease. The technologist is a sort of translator who helps patients make sense of the data collected by the ultrasound machine; they are caring, communicative individuals who assume partial responsibility for their patients' care and comfort and are dedicated to helping them get better and learn more about what is happening inside of their bodies.
Diagnostic ultrasound technologists typically complete college courses in sonography and ultrasound work. There may be specific areas of sonography in which one may specialize, such as pediatrics, cardiovascular, gastroenterology, etc. Prospective applicants should complete courses in biology, anatomy, and medical technology.
Diagnostic Ultrasound Technologist Tasks
Prepare and position patient for ultrasound exam and explain procedure.
Process and code film, videotape, images or prints from procedures and complete documentation for interpretation by physician.
Operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images according to physician's directive.
Observe screen during scan to ensure satisfactory image for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments as required.