A sonographer provides technical services to hospitals and clinics by operating diagnostic imaging machines. A sonographer is also called an ultrasonographer, diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technologist. Diagnostic imaging machines such as an ultrasound machine produces images through sound waves. It is a non-invasive procedure that makes it a diagnostic procedure of choice of most physicians and patients.
A sonographer not only operates diagnostic machines, but also generates the images needed as prescribed by the doctor. Ultrasound is usually done on pregnant women to see the progress of the baby’s growth, therefore the sonographer should know which area of the stomach to put the ultrasound device to. The sonographer should also be able to recognize the normal organs and muscles from an abnormal growth, since an ultrasound image of the abnormal growth is of interest to the doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis.
A career as a sonographer is a good path since the rise of technology in medical diagnosis leads to the dependency of medical practitioners on the use of medical devices to diagnose patients. This means in the coming years, the medical industry will need more sonographers. In Nevada, only a few schools offer courses for sonographers, which means when demand for sonographers rises in this state, there are a lot of opportunities for you since there is less competition. Here is the important information for you to assess whether to pursue a career as a sonographer in Las Vegas.
- Complete a degree in a sonography program. You may choose between a diploma degree that takes two years, and a bachelor’s degree that takes four years. You may search online for a list of accredited schools in Las Vegas, and also cross check with the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program to make sure that you only attend a school that offers an accredited sonography program. There will be medical subjects such as anatomy, physics and basic sonography. Since sonographers also do troubleshooting for the diagnostic machines, be prepared to be exposed to electric and mechanical-like classes that discuss the machines itself.
- Complete an internship program. This is your on the job training where you will be assigned to hospitals all over Las Vegas for a certain period. You will have the chance to be exposed to different machines, and different patients requiring varied sonography services. You will also be able to familiarize yourself to the standard operating procedures in hospitals and clinics.
- Once you have graduated, you need to be certified for you to become a professional sonographer. A registry exam is given by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. While the state of Nevada does not require a license for sonographers to practice, hospitals in Las Vegas prefer those who are certified.
- Find a job in Las Vegas hospitals. If you do well in your internship, you may be hired by the hospital or clinic that you have spent your internship in. Aside from hospitals, you can also find work as mobile sonographer for private companies that perform diagnostic tests in different areas in Las Vegas.