Sonography can be a rewarding career in the medical sciences
Are you looking for a career in the field of medicine or healthcare? One medical career where you can get trained relatively quickly is the field of ultrasound. People can train to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or a Cardiovascular Sonographer in as little as two years.
This article looks at the benefits of becoming a Cardiovascular Sonographer. If you are considering this career path, be sure to consider the following five advantages of choosing this job field:
1. You are helping heart patients get the medical services they need
Cardiovascular sonography is the imaging of the heart and vascular system. You will be taking images of patients’ heart chambers, valves, and blood vessels. If you are a cardiovascular ultrasound technician, you are seeing patients who may have heart disease or heart conditions that can be treated by a cardiologist. Your images will give the cardiologist a picture of what is happening in the patients’ heart and circulatory system. This information is critical so that the doctor can diagnose and treat the patient. Sometimes you may even be involved during actual heart procedures that the doctor is performing. Being a part of this important process and knowing that you are contributing to the health of your patients can be gratifying.
2. You can complete a Cardiac Sonographer program in about 2 years
For many cardiovascular sonography jobs, a two-year associate’s degree is sufficient. While there are also four-year bachelor’s programs available, many institutions require only a two-year degree. This means you can save time and money, and get into the workforce relatively quickly. In this short time period, you will learn to conduct tests such as stress tests, Holter monitoring, transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiograms, and cardiac Doppler ultrasound. Most programs will require some prerequisites, such as prior coursework or an associate’s degree in a science-related field. Before choosing a training program, be sure to:
- Find out what prerequisites you need
- Ask if the facility is accredited, preferably by a well-known accrediting body such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- Ask about the job placement rate after graduation
- Find a program that has a clinical externship where you get to practice your new skills on the job
- Ask about the experience level of the instructors
3. The job outlook is positive for Cardiovascular Sonographers
Before you jump headfirst into a new career field, you should research the job outlook for that field. For cardiovascular sonographers, the job outlook is positive, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The handbook says, “Employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
Part of the reason for this prediction is that ultrasound technology is a relatively inexpensive way to diagnose heart conditions, which makes it a good choice in an era of cutting medical costs. And unlike imaging procedures that use radiation, ultrasound is considered to have fewer health consequences, which again makes it a good choice for patients. In addition, the aging of the baby boom population contributes to a greater demand for healthcare services such as cardiovascular ultrasounds and echocardiograms.
4. You stay active on the job
If you are not the type of person who wants to sit at a desk all day long, rest assured. Cardiovascular sonographers are up and down all day long, helping patients to the exam rooms, setting up the sonography equipment, performing ultrasounds, and delivering results to the doctors. In other words, it’s a very active job that can help keep you in shape. It also tends to be a busy job with many patients to see every day. Working in a fast-paced environment can help the work day go by quickly.
5. The hours can be flexible
Depending on where you find work, you may have flexible hours. While some hospitals require cardiac sonographers to work evenings, weekends, or a night shift, other facilities may not. Many radiology practices are open only during business hours, which means there is no need for nighttime or weekend hours. Depending on your needs, the work schedule may be one that allows you to have a good work-family-life balance.
If these benefits sound good to you, it’s never too late to start looking into this career path. Find out more about this career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. We wish you luck on your next career move.
This article was provided by the American College of Medical Careers in Orlando, Florida. Our college offers an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree program for those wishing to become cardiovascular sonographers. For more info, contact us online.