An ultrasound technologist is a trained medical professional who uses an ultrasound machine (a machine based on sound waves) to produce internal images of the body for use by a physician for diagnosing and monitoring various medical conditions. The ultrasound technologist must be knowledgeable in the anatomy of the body for positioning the machine and obtaining the best images possible. Ultrasound technology is used on many parts of the body, and is used in obstetrics for monitoring a fetus. Most ultrasound technologists work in a hospital setting, and may work days, nights, weekends and holidays. Some ultrasound technicians are employed in outpatient clinics and physicians' offices, in which case they normally work Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m. Ultrasound technologists must have good eyesight, as they frequently work in dim lighting and with black-and-white computer images. To become an ultrasound technologist, one must complete an accredited training program which can be up to 4 years in length. One-year certificates can be obtained by individuals with prior experience in the medical field. Training includes a combination of classroom lectures and clinical training. Upon graduation, the candidate must obtain certification by passing a national examination administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography or another professional organization. An ultrasound technician can also obtain certifications in specialty areas, such as obstetrics. The daily activities of an ultrasound technician include positioning and preparing the patient for the procedure, and explaining the procedure to the patient. The ultrasound technician must obtain quality images, and often will need to obtain several views of the same area for comparison. The ultrasound technician must also process the images and prepare them for observation by the physician. The ultrasound technician must document the procedure as indicated by the employing facility.
Ultrasound Technologist Tasks
- 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.
- 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.