What is the Job Description of an Ultrasound Technician?

Prospective ultrasound technicians should carefully read this job description to know the duties and responsibilities to expect.

The job description of an ultrasound technician usually features duties and responsibilities such as preparing an ultrasound room and equipment, maintaining ultrasound equipment and reporting scan results.

In order to perform all of these duties effectively, they are usually need to possess certain skills and attributes.

An ideal ultrasound technician should possess communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills.

An ultrasound technician is also referred to as a sonographer or a medical diagnostic sonographer

Aside from an associate and/or bachelor’s degree, you need to also obtain a license to practice in a particular state or country.

Keeping reading this job description of your want to know what sonographers do

Doctor doing ultrasound scan for pregnant woman

What does an ultrasound technician do?

Ultrasound technicians assist radiographers and other health care practitioners diagnose a patient’s illness.

They make use of equipment that takes images of internal organs with a high-frequency sound wave.

They inform patients about the ultrasound procedure and what it entails.

Also, ultrasound technicians have the responsibility of assisting patients throughout the procedure.

They help them make a movement to attain comfort during the procedure.

In addition, they ensure that patients are only exposed to a minimal level of the high-frequency sound wave.

Exposure to too much high-level frequency sound wave could damage the health of patients.

It could even result in certain types of cancer.

Therefore sonographers must adhere to all professional code and ethics in order to ensure the safety of patients.

Because of the special duties, a sonographer performs as well as the skills they possess, the United States labour department considers it a separate job from radiology.

Duties and responsibilities of an ultrasound technician

Ultrasound technicians perform a lot of activities, all aimed at a proper diagnosis.

Those who have a keen understanding of their duties and responsibilities usually do better at the job.

Therefore, I will advise you to pay keen attention to this section of this job description.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of an ultrasound technician:

1. Explain ultrasound procedure to patients

It is the responsibility of the ultrasound technician to properly explain the whole procedure to patients.

They tell them what to and not to expect and then answer any question the patient asks.

2. Consult with medical practitioners

Before the ultrasound procedure, it is the duty of an ultrasound technician to relate necessary concerns to the referring health care provider.

Also, whenever there is a need to make an adjustment to previous plans,  in order to obtain better results, the sonographer consults the referring doctor or implements the changes independently.

3. Operate ultrasound equipment

The ultrasound technician is also responsible for operating high-frequency sound wave equipment to capture images of internal organs.

During this procedure, you are to ensure that only the right amount of frequency wave hits the patient.

Also, they schedule maintenance of these machines to ensure that they are always in proper working conditions.

4. Assisting patients during ultrasound procedures

During the ultrasound procedure, they assist patients.

By making sure that they take are comfort position that will promote a successful procedure.

5. Identifying and recording the unexpected or predicted outcome

after listening to a patient’s complaints and evaluating their medical history, prior to the procedure, the technician makes predictions.

In a situation where the prediction fails, the sonographer is needs to document it.

If necessary, in such a situation, the ultrasound technician also recommendations further testing and diagnosis.

Other duties and responsibilities of an ultrasound technician usually featured in the job description include:

  • Adhering to all necessary professional codes and ethics.
  • Prepare ultrasound worksheet that explains procedure findings to referring doctors.
  • Making sure that the probe is capturing the appropriate image rightly.
  • Preparing and maintaining the ultrasound room and equipment.
  • Interpreting image captured by the traducer.
  • Updating medical records of patients.

What qualifications do I need to become an ultrasound technician?

There are four routes to becoming an ultrasound technician, you can decide to take any.

These routed include the following:

1. Certification

You may decide to take a one-year certificate program.

But, such programs are only available for those with at least one year experience in any health care occupation.

2. College degree

Another route is to obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography from an accredited school.

An associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography usually takes about two years to complete.

Where a bachelor’s degree takes up to four years to successfully complete.

In the United States, diagnostic medical sonography programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

3. Credentials

After graduating from a diagnostic medical sonography program, you can go ahead to obtain a credential.

In order to become a certified medical sonographer, you have to pass a national credentialing examination.

Although this certification is not compulsory, most employers will not employ you without it.

4. Licensing

In some states and countries, ultrasound technicians need a license to practice.

You are advised to find out what the requirements to obtain a license in your state or country is to get one.

What skills does an ultrasound technician need?

Aside from the duties and responsibilities, as well as qualification an ultrasound technician should do and have respectively. There are certain skills that are essential for ultrasound technicians to have.

These skills are also included in an ultrasound technician job description.

This is because they are very important in performing almost all their functions.

1.Good sonography knowledge

Having proper orientation body anatomy and equipment used in ultrasound is advantageous to becoming an ultrasound technician.

You should also have good knowledge of all duties and responsibilities you are allowed to perform in your country.

2.Interpersonal skills

As a good ultrasound technician, you should be able to maintain a good relationship with patients and other health care practitioners.

You should also always be very kind and sensitive to the feelings of patients.

3.Communication skill

Being able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing is important.

This skill is necessary for record-keeping and when educating patients about ultrasound procedure.

Also, they should possess the good listening skill, they should be able to attentively listen to the needs and complaints of patients

4.Organizational skills

A good ultrasound technician must be well organized. You should be able to keep all instruments in their appropriate place.

Attention to details is also very relevant.

How much do ultrasound technicians make?

On average, ultrasound technicians in the United States make up to $55,270 per year which is about $26.57 per hour.

Their salary ranges from$28,680 per year to $90,760 per year which is $13.79 per hour to $43.63 per hour respectively.

These figures may differ depending on your location.

Some factors that determine the pay of an ultrasound technician:

  • Location: The economy of a country may have an impact on the salary of an ultrasound technician. Those in locations where the economy is poor may be paid less.
  • Employer: ultrasound technicians who work for bigger health care organisations are more likely to earn better.
  • Experience: less experienced ultrasound technicians are not paid as well as their more experienced colleagues.
  • Qualification: More qualified ultrasound technicians are usually paid better.

Where do ultrasound technicians work?

Typically, ultrasound technicians work in health care organisations.

Some of the employers of a sonographer include:

  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Public health sector
  • Pediatric hospitals
  •  clinics
  • Medical diagnostic laboratories

Vacancies are usually posted online or on radio, television stations and newspapers.

Ultrasound technicians work environment and schedule

Diagnostic medical sonographers usually work in hospitals, medical imaging centres and in physician’s offices.

Those who work hospitals may work at night, weekends and even holidays.

Most of the time, sonographers are usually on their feet.

Being an ultrasound technician is a full-time job, you may even work overnight if you work in a centre that stays open for 24hrs.

Ultrasound technician job outlook

In a space of 10 years, job opportunities for ultrasound technicians are expected to increase by 23% according to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics.

This growth is expected to occur as a result of more number of people who will be in need of accurate medical diagnosis and the ageing population as well.

What tools do ultrasound technicians use?

A good ultrasound technician should be able to operate and make use of the following tools:

  • Transducer or probe
  • Printers
  • Monitors
  • Central processing units
  • Keyboard
  • Disk storage devices

What should I include in my ultrasound technician job description?

When creating your resume, you should include information capable of convincing a recruiter or employer that you are suitable for the job.

Some of the information you should include in your ultrasound technician resume include:

  • Qualification
  • Years of experience
  • Place of experience
  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills

These skills should not only be highlighted in your resume but also, during an interview, you are expected to make reference to them.

This job description can be used as a guide for creating a professional ultrasound technician resume.

Conclusion: ultrasound technician job description guide

Those who love operating technological equipment and also desire to work in the health sector will make good ultrasound technicians.

Organisations can also use this guide as a template for creating their own ultrasound technician job description.

They are free to make necessary adjustments to it to suit what their organisation needs.

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