Diagnostic medical sonography could be a good career for you
When you think of jobs in the field of medicine, the professions of nurse and doctor may jump to mind first. However, there are many, many other career paths in healthcare besides nurses and doctors. There are medical assistants, surgical technologists, x-ray technicians, and medical billing specialists, just to name a few. This article looks at one of these interesting professions: that of the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.
What is a diagnostic medical sonographer? This medical professional performs ultrasounds (sonograms) on patients to help give doctors the information they need to make diagnoses. They are most well-known for performing sonograms on pregnant women to help determine the gender and health of the fetus. They also do ultrasounds on the abdomen, pelvis, and womb.
If this sounds interesting to you, why not find out more? Read on to discover some of the benefits of choosing this career field!
1. It’s a 2-year associate’s degree program
Many jobs in the medical field require many years of training. Not so for the diagnostic medical sonographer. If you have the right prerequisites, you can complete the associate’s degree program in just two years. That’s a short amount of time when considering the level of marketable skills you will be gaining.
Before choosing a sonography school, be sure to:
- Find out what prerequisites you need (in other words, what previous classes you should have taken in high school)
- Find out if the school is accredited
- Find out the school’s rate of job placement after graduation
- Find out if the program has a clinical externship program
- Find out about the level of experience that the instructors have
2. The job is gratifying
When people are prescribed ultrasounds, it’s for an important reason. Their doctor may suspect a medical condition and order the ultrasound as a way of diagnosing the problem. Or, if it’s a sonogram for a pregnant woman, the doctor needs to know whether the fetus is developing normally for a healthy pregnancy. Being part of this important medical process can be a very gratifying feeling. You can be proud to know that you are improving the lives of others.
3. It’s a medical profession that doesn’t involve blood
Some people are scared away from jobs in the field of healthcare because they don’t want to deal with blood, infections, emergencies, and other unpleasant parts that come along with helping sick patients. While sonographers still have to observe all of the safety protocols for infection control, they typically do not have to see blood or other aspects of healthcare that make some people queasy.
4. The job outlook is positive in many regions
Before starting any new career field, it’s important to research the job outlook in the region where you live. One resource to consult is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which currently projects positive growth for diagnostic medical sonographers. It says, “Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to grow 26 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” You might also want to use a job search website (like Indeed, LinkedIn, or Career Builder) to search for sonographer jobs in your area. This will give you an idea of whether there are many positions being advertised.
5. Work-life balance
The field of sonography can give you a good work-life balance. Some sonography jobs are in private radiology practices, where the hours will be more like regular business hours, with some evening or weekend hours on occasion. Other jobs are in hospitals, where you are likely to have three 12-hour shifts each week, which can sometimes give you more days off during the week.
Do these benefits sound good to you? If so, read more about this job path in Traits of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. You never know…you may have just found your future career path!
For students in the Orlando, Florida area, be sure to explore the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and Cardiac Sonographer degree programs at the American College for Medical Careers. We hope your career path begins with us.