A sonographer or an ultrasound technician is a health care professional who uses soundwaves and imaging devices to create diagnostic images and videos of anatomy. Doctors use this data to diagnose potential medical conditions that may be of concern. If you wish to pursue this profession someday, first, weigh the pros and cons before dedicating your time and money.
Pros of being a sonographer
1. You get an opportunity to help the patients: Your career as a sonographer will enable you to help patients from different walks of life. Sonographers communicate well with patients, encourage them during difficult times, and smile with them in their happiest moments as well.
2. You can work closely with a physician: A cardiovascular Sonographer can use ultrasound imaging to evaluate different aspects of a patient’s heart, including blood flow and chamber size. They also review a patient’s file that will enable him to identify any abnormalities confirmed by the physicians.
3. You will be an essential part of the diagnostic team: A diagnostic medical sonographer is an integral part of the diagnostic team since he uses imaging equipment and sound waves to create images of parts of the body. Doctors use images to diagnose and treat medical conditions.
4. Your salary is generous: Sonographers’ overall pay scale is broad, though their wages are excellent even at the lowest levels. The bureau of labor statistics reported in May 2011 that an average sonographer earns $70,380 per year. It indicates that sonography pays pretty well; furthermore, your salary increases once you advance your education.
5. You will have more benefits to enjoy: Your job as an ultrasound technician allows you to enjoy so many benefits. These benefits could be, paid time off, relocation assistance, health insurance, and tuition reimbursement.
6. Your training period will be short: Being a sonographer is advantageous since the training program takes a short period. The beauty of this field is that you can start working even after a short training program like a certificate. A certificate course will take you approximately 12-18 months.
7. The job outlook for this position is strong: The modern health care system consistently uses ultrasound to treat patients. Therefore, the rate at which hospitals demand sonographers is too high. The overall employment of sonographers is projected to grow to 12 percent in the years to come.
8. Every day will be different: You cannot be bored when working as a sonographer. You get a chance to meet and learn new things daily. You interact with different patients before ultrasounds make you love your career even more.
9. Your job is active: The sonographer always has a job to do when working in this career. Your work is different, and you do not sit behind the desk as the other careers. A sonographer is always moving all day. These movements help them keep in shape and be in good health conditions.
10. You can specialize: Since ultrasound knowledge is vital in various health care disciplines, you can specialize in any field of your interest. For instance, you can pursue additional certification in; neuro sonography, obstetric and gynecological sonography, breast sonography, fetal echocardiography, and vascular sonography.
Cons of being a sonographer
1. You can meet anxious patients: While helping to diagnose patients, a Sonographer may interact with patients with anxiety. Patients may be fighting some severe sicknesses hence becoming nervous about their condition. As a sonographer, you need to understand them, be patient, and show compassion.
2. You will be required to be on your feet all day: Sonographers are always on their feet almost all day. Your work is to walk from one ward to the other to perform ultrasounds. The Society of Diagnostic Sonography reports that 90% of sonographers are exposed to work-related musculoskeletal disorders due to long hours of standing while on duty.
3. You can be injured: A person working in this career is exposed to the risk of injury and discomfort. The hurts may be caused by the equipment they use, while pain can be brought about by the awkward postures of the trunk, neck, and upper extremities.
4. You will have an erratic schedule: Tight schedules are certainly one main con of being a sonographer. Sonographers may not find enough time for their events. Plus, you may find yourself working at night and during weekends and holidays. Such erratic schedules inconvenience personal and family time.
5. You may be required to take a loan: Well, indeed, nothing is free, so you may be required to take loans to facilitate your two years training. Loans are also good, but they may land you into unplanned debts. Furthermore, the interest to be paid could be pretty high, making the loan costs.
6. You risk being sued: Even though man is to error and everyone makes mistakes, you can easily get sued because of a simple mistake. A sonographer is open to a lawsuit because of the nature of their work. Therefore, any errors will land you in court.
7. Your certification process can be rigorous: When embarking on this career, you need to know that you cannot do much without your certification. Before employment, you will need to pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam (SPI exam)
8. You will have to push heavy equipment: Sonographers need to pull and push heavy equipment all over for most of their day. Pushing and pulling machines at their workplace could make them develop sore muscles, strains, and sprains.
9. You may be stressed: Your job may be stressful since your life is centered around people’s lives. As a sonographer, you may have to attend to emergencies urgently to save a life as well as perform detailed scans. Such incidents can make you sweat just by thinking about them.
10. You can be exposed to pathogens: A sonographer deals with patients with different diseases; therefore, it is easy to contact viruses while working in a healthcare setting. The fact that your job could put you and your loved ones at risk of contracting highly contagious illnesses is one major con of being a sonographer.