What Are the Challenges and Rewards of Being a Medical Sonographer?

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Medical Sonographers or Ultrasound Technicians are busy healthcare professionals whose skills are critical to modern diagnoses. The images they take help physicians see internal organs, detect abnormalities, and cure patients. Would you like a career as a Medical Sonographer? There are several rewards and a few challenges to the profession. Check them out.

Rewards of a Medical Sonography Career

You Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

Has some proud parent-to-be ever shown off the ultrasound they got from their obstetrician? Even though the doctor was the person checking on the baby’s health, a Medical Sonographer was the person taking the picture! If you stepped into this role, you would help doctors diagnosis and treat patients. The work you do can literally help save lives.

Medical Sonography is a People-Person Job

If you want a career where you get to work with others, a job as an Ultrasound Tech may be right for you. Not only do you spend your day meeting all kinds of patients; you also interact with a team of medical professionals. But unlike nurses and medical assistants, you aren’t taking specimens, drawing blood, or cleaning up after patients.

Medical Sonographers Can Specialize

Is there a part of the human body that you find particularly fascinating? One of the perks of the profession is the opportunity to specialize. You could work in obstetrics and take ultrasounds that track the health and growth of unborn babies. Or you could work in pediatrics and take ultrasounds on infants and young children. You could also specialize in the heart, abdomen, or vascular systems, depending on your interests.

You’re Part of a Growth Industry

As a Medical Sonographer, you are part of a team that’s part of healthcare. That’s a multi-trillion-dollar industry that represents nearly 20 percent of the U.S. economy! Employment in healthcare is projected to grow much faster than average through 2032.

Medical Sonographers Are in Demand

Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow faster than the average through the next decade. With the aging Baby Boomer population needing additional care as they age, more medical sonographers will be needed to perform ultrasounds that can help diagnose their conditions. And the need for this service occurs across the country, in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and outpatient care centers.

Challenges of a Medical Sonography Career

Some Days May Require Long Hours

Although most Sonographers work full-time jobs with regular hours, how and when you work will depend on where you work. If you work in a hospital or clinic that is open all day and night, you might be required to work nights. You may also need to rotate weekend shifts or work holidays.

Medical Sonography Can Be Physically Demanding

The job of an Ultrasound Technician requires you to be on your feet almost the entire day. You need to position patients, which can require turning them over or lifting them into place. You may push a patient in a wheelchair, help them enter a room and stand or sit. You also may need to push portable ultrasound machines into a patient’s room.

Patients Can Be Difficult

People aren’t always pleasant, especially when they’re worried about bad news. When you encounter a difficult patient, it’s up to you to put them at ease, make them feel cared for and respected, and to do your job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Being patient with your patients can go a long way toward turning an unhappy situation into one that is bearable.

The Job Can Become Emotional

Although you won’t be the healthcare professional giving bad news, you will know a lot that your patients don’t. Your empathy and compassion for your patients may leave you feeling emotional long after they leave. In those moments, it’s important to practice some self-care. Try deep breathing, taking a short break, or chatting with a co-worker about your feelings.

Radiation Dangers

In training to become a Medical Sonographer, you learn all about the danger of radiation. It’s critical to follow safety protocols so you do not risk unnecessary radiation exposure. Always wear the proper attire and follow the rules to protect yourself.

What do you think? Do the rewards of being a Medical Sonographer outweigh the challenges? At Charter College, we offer an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography that can prepare you for entry-level work in the field. The program is offered in a blended learning format and can be completed in as few as 14 months. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.