Ultrasound Tech Duties – What is it about?

Ultrasound Tech Duties – What is it about?

In order to create diagnostic images, ultrasound technicians employ the latest sonographic technologies. Unlike other forms of diagnostic imaging that depend on radiation, sonographs manipulate sound waves to create the desired image effects. Physicians depend on ultrasound technicians to compose images to help identify ailments or to monitor the development of a fetus, among other uses.

Sonographers are subject to many physically demanding tasks: relocating hospital equipment, helping patients move, and standing for long periods of time are just some examples. Due to these physical challenges, there are increased possibilities of injury to different body parts such as the neck, back, and eyes. Some individuals may also experience an increased risk of carpel tunnel syndrome, a medical condition in which excessive  wrist compression can lead to muscle weakness or numbness, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program. It is imperative that sonographers are physically fit and are knowledgeable in the proper use of imaging equipment.

Some typical ultrasound technician job responsibilities include:

  • Using highly technical sonography equipment to produce images of structures inside the body
  • Placing a wand-like transducer device against the patient’s skin on the area being imaged, while viewing the image on a monitor
  • Simultaneously using proper equipment while viewing sound waves and frequencies in different areas of the body is important
  • Communicating with the client and ensuring their comfort during the procedure, which is especially important during invasive procedures
  • Using good judgment when determining the validity of diagnoses, or if additional imaging procedures are needed

Although technical expertise is a definite necessity for careers as ultrasound technicians, exceptional interpersonal and communications skills are highly coveted as well. Throughout the work day, ultrasound technicians work in close proximity with both medical professionals and patients. Sound and precise communication skills allow technicians to clearly and thoroughly present findings from the diagnostic imaging process. Reports compiled by technicians must also follow a clear and organized structure – physicians should be able to assess the report without the technician’s presence.

According to data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, many new prospects will open for individuals in the field of sonography The BLS forecasts employment opportunities to grow at an estimated rate of 19 percent until the year 2016. The increasing elderly population lends another reason for the need of competent sonography practitioners and diagnostic imaging equipment. Since sonography imaging procedures are generally considered safer than scanning methods which use radiation, it is expected that more and more people will consider sonography as their primary method of diagnostic imaging.