Sonography is the use of sound waves to generate an image for the assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. Sonographers, also known as ultrasonographers, use special equipment to direct non-ionizing, high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient’s body.
What do Sonographers do?
- Obtain and record an accurate patient history
- Provide for patient care and safety
- Perform medical procedures to produce, evaluate and record diagnostic ultrasound images
- Use independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the procedure
- Analyze technical findings using acquired knowledge
- Provide a summary of technical findings to the interpreting physician to aid in the medical diagnosis
Types of Sonographers
Types of work environments
- Outpatient Clinics
- Physicians' Offices
- Freestanding Imaging Centers
- Ability to provide one on one care
- Willingness to work unusual hours, plus overtime and on call
- Eagerness to learn is the key to advancement
- Must keep up with rapidly advancing and exciting changes in imaging sciences
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- A strong understanding of math, science and computer technology
- Detail oriented
- Ability to make independent decisions
- 2-Year Academic Degree
- Certification Required
Classes & clinicals
- Cuyahoga Community College
- Lorain County Community College
$52,570 and $73,680
US Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook,
$59,167 and $70,657
Meet a Professional: Amy
What interested you in becoming a Technologist?
I wanted to do something in the medical field but I did not want to be a nurse. I started searching around for medical professions other than nursing and came up with Diagnostic Medical Sonography. I have always had an interest in human anatomy and physiology and felt ultrasound best fit that interest because you learn everything about the body from head to toe.
What physical and/or soft skills do you need to have to succeed?
Ultrasound requires a lot of upper body strength not only for scanning but also for doing portable ultrasounds and assisting patients in certain positions. Also, you have to be a sympathetic person who understands the needs of patients in this critical time of their lives. Everything little that you do for the patient’s comfort can make a huge difference in their stay or visit here.
What advice would you give to interested high school students?
The program is VERY challenging, very time consuming, and requires constant effort. High school students should know that this field is not “just taking pictures” and is far from “just taking pictures of babies.” The job can be emotionally tolling and you are around a broad spectrum of illnesses that people outside of the medical field never see. However, the job is very rewarding and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What interested you in working at Cleveland Clinic?
Cleveland Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the world. Working for Cleveland Clinic means constant challenges and a large variety/quantity of exams that allows you to work with patients of all ages.
What excites you about working as a Technologist?
What I find most exciting about being a Technologist is the constant challenges I face everyday while scanning. Every patient is different with different needs and different anatomy. You truly do learn something different everyday.
What has been your most gratifying experience as a Technologist?
My most gratifying moments of being a Technologist are watching the patients grow stronger and healthier after seeing them at their worst and knowing that you played a part in that.
What career options do you have as a Technologist?
If you have a passion for teaching, you could continue on from an Associate’s Degree and get your Bachelor’s Degree. Also, with enough experience you could go into management for the ultrasound department.