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What are the Different Sonographer Jobs?

By Rachel Burkot
Updated May 17, 2024
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A sonographer uses equipment such as X-rays and resonance imaging to produce images through sound waves. These images are then used to study and treat various illnesses; additionally, sonography is also commonly associated with obstetrics, as an ultrasound is the method relied on to determine how a fetus is progressing and growing during pregnancy. Sonographer jobs include obstetric sonography, as well as other branches of medical sonography.

An obstetric sonographer, also known as a gynecologic sonographer, is an expert in the female reproductive system. Sonographer jobs in this field include monitoring the development and health of a fetus and its mother. The sonagrapher places gel on the mother’s stomach, which produces a clear ultrasound, allowing the doctor to analyze the baby.

A diagnostic medical sonographer also uses medical equipment to view a patient’s body parts. Sound waves reflect echoes and produce an image that is then studied by the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Sonographer jobs include the important task of looking for anything that seems to be amiss on an ultrasound. It is the sonographer’s duty to sift through the images and determine which ones should be shown to the doctor for further analysis. A medical sonographer must also keep patient paperwork in order, organize work schedules, maintain the equipment and manage the imaging department.

Additional fields of sonographer jobs include abdominal sonography, neurosonography, breast sonography, echocardiography, vascular technology and ophthalmology. Abdominal sonography studies not just the patient’s stomach, but also his or her gallbladder, kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen. Neurosonographers are experts in the brain and nervous system, and they regularly check patients’ blood vessels for any defects. A branch of neurosonography is neonatal care, in which premature infants’ nervous systems are looked over for complications. Breast sonographers use mammography to spot not only breast cancer, but also other forms of tumors and blood supply conditions.

Echocardiography sonographer jobs involve the evaluation of the heart, valves and blood vessels. Closely related, vascular technology looks at blood vessels specifically in the peripheral and abdominal regions of the body. Ophthalmology requires the ultrasound technician to take images of the eye and its surrounding structures and muscles.

These sonographer jobs all take place in health care facilities, and hospital jobs are the most common within sonography. The work may involve travel, as sonographers must sometimes make house calls if patients are too sick to be brought into the hospital. Typical sonographer jobs involve about 40 hours of work per week, although those who work in hospitals are often on call around the clock and sometimes must work weekends and evenings.

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