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Medical Imaging Sciences

 

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program - About the Profession

Description of the Field
The profession of diagnostic medical sonography includes general sonography, cardiac sonography, vascular technology, and various subspecialties. The profession requires judgment and the ability to provide appropriate health care services. General sonographers, cardiac sonographers, and vascular technologists are highly skilled professionals qualified by education to provide patient services using diagnostic techniques under the supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy. The general sonographer, cardiac sonographer, and vascular technologist may provide this service in a variety of medical settings where the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of appropriate procedures. General sonographers, cardiac sonographers, and vascular technologists assist physicians in gathering data necessary to reach diagnostic decisions. The general sonographer, cardiac sonographer, and vascular technologist are able to perform the following:

• Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results;

• Perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data for interpretation by a physician;

• Record, analyze, and process diagnostic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician;

• Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic and/or other diagnostic services;

• Demonstrate appropriate communication skills with patients and colleagues;

• Act in a professional and ethical manner;

• Provide patient education related to medical ultrasound and/or other diagnostic vascular techniques, and promote principles of good health.

*(Taken from the Essentials and Guidelines for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, www.caahep.org) 

Career Opportunities and Earning Potential
According to the US Department of Labor, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase by about 18 percent through 2018 which is faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population will result in an increasing demand for diagnostic imaging. Healthcare providers are increasingly utilizing ultrasound imaging as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to radiological procedures.  Ultrasound imaging is a dynamic field which is rapidly evolving resulting in many new sonographic procedures enabling sonographers to scan and image areas of the body where ultrasound has not been used traditionally.
“The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $61,980 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent of sonographers earned wages between $52,570 and $73,680 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,950. Median annual wages of diagnostic medical sonographers in May 2008 were $62,340 in offices of physicians and $61,870 in general medical and surgical hospitals.”
http://www.bls.gov (search Diagnostic Medical Sonography)


Professional Organizations
For additional information on the profession of Diagnostic Medical Sonography please visit the following websites:
Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, www.sdms.org
American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, www.ardms.org
 American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, www.aium.org
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, www.caahep.org
Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, www.jrcdms.org

 

 

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