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Thinking of being an Ultrasound Tech?

Updated on April 19, 2011

Some Pros & Cons to Help Decide if this is the Career for you...

Being an Ultrasonographer is an amazing job. I can truly say that I enjoy what I do, however there is a lot to this career that I never considered nor knew about until after I started school. Sometimes I wonder if I would have chosen this career had someone informed me of the pros and cons. By the time I knew what I know now I was already paying for an education at George Washington University. With the prices there I could not turn back. So in case anyone is considering a career in this field I figured I would put some information out there. Who knows, maybe it can help at least one person decide based on the opinions of an experienced sonographer.

Pros

  • Higher paying than a lot of other careers.
  • A chance to meet all kinds of different people all day everyday.
  • No two days are ever alike or predictable.
  • Understanding how the human body truly works, as well as learn a lot of Physics and become a pro in the field of anatomy.
  • A Sonographer gets to be a part of life changing events in people's lives. In General Ultrasound we do fetal sonograms.
  • It is a career that can be done in any city, so it is mobile.
  • Schedules are usually pretty flexible as far as work hours in the medical field.
  • It is a small field that is always growing.
  • It is an extremely important career in the medical field, as it is essential in diagnosing certain issues in patients.
  • Does not use any Radiation. Great for Patients too!

Cons

  • Whether a Bachelor's Degree or a certificate in Sonography, the pay is generally the equal. Even to get a certificate, most schools require a lot of prerequisites.
  • Ultrasound has a pretty young average retirement age due to occupational injury.
  • The exams that have to be passed to become a Registered Sonographer are extremely difficult, often requiring multiple attempts. Can be a little pricey.
  • A lot of hospital jobs require on call hours and some mandatory holiday hours.
  • This career has a high rate of injury to arms, shoulders, wrists hands or backs. Ergonomics are really important. The job can be so hard on a person's body.
  • Ultrasound is the only modality that has the tech do the work for the machine...The tech has to make images nice and fill out worksheets based on their findings.
  • Patients can make or break your day. One grumpy or mean person can really darken a day.
  • Sonography is done in a dark room, so it can feel kind of cave like.

Decisions, Decisions

The best way to decide if an ultrasound career is worth pursuing, the best thing to do is to find local schools that offer Sonography programs and attend an information session. It is a good opportunity to learn about the field and the education. Another good tip is to find Ultrasound chat rooms or discussion forums and read them. It is a good way to see the language techs use and see how they feel about the field. I have been doing it for five years and truly enjoy it. It has it's downfalls just like any career, but the good things more than make up for it. Though my arm hurts all the time and I sometimes have a patient that is rude or mean I wouldn't change my decision to be a sonographer. I have met so many wonderful people and learned so much about how miraculous the human body is thanks to my career choice.

Hopefully this information will help those who have questions about becoming a Sonographer. Maybe if I had these pointers, then I would not be where I am today. I am thankful that I stuck to my plan and have had the opportunity to do such a wonderful job.

Comments

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      Allen 20 months ago

      VERY repetitive work, often felt like an assembly line job.

    • profile image

      Narissa 3 years ago

      I did vascular ultrasounds for 3 years. Sadly, I am retiring from it because of injuries to my neck and shoulders. Hospital management pushing for more exams yo be done in the shortest time does not help.

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      Oscar 4 years ago

      Hello, I can tell only one thing. Being as an ultrasound tech is very interesting, also it is good payed job. Don`t miss the chance and visit my site about ultrasound technician http://ultrasoundtechniciannews.com/

      There you will find a lot of information about how to become ultrasound technician, how much they earn and a lot of more information.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Lisa 4 years ago

      Hi Ashley, you have written a very good article to explain pros and cons for being an ultrasound tech. I would like to add one more con. That is many sonographers are under appreciated in the field. You may want to read related comments on http://www.ultrasoundtechniciancenter.org/salary/b... What is your opinion after reading the long comments below the article? I love to hear your thoughts.

    • profile image

      BJ 5 years ago

      My wife has a DMS degree, but can't do the work anymore because the physical demands are too much considering her health problems. Is there any other way she can benefit from her degree?

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