Sonographers, also known as Ultrasound Technologists or Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, use advanced imaging procedures to help in the diagnosis of a patient. Sonographers transmit high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient’s body from which specialized equipment then collects reflected echoes to form an image. The image is viewed on a screen used for interpretation and diagnosis by physicians. Sonographers select and set up appropriate equipment for the test, explain the procedure to patients, help patients to assume the correct physical position, and put patients at ease. During the procedures, they observe the sound-wave display screen, adjust equipment to ensure a clear image, and maintain a log of ultrasonic tests.
Students can enter a two-year program that awards an associate degree or a four-year program that awards a bachelors degree. There are also one-year programs designed for those who already have related education and experience. Graduates must pass a national examination offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to be certified. Professional status may be gained through membership in the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.