Sonographers work in the healthcare field offering ultrasonic imaging services. People choose the sonography career because of its rewarding work experiences and competitive pay with different types to choose from. Learn about these 7 types of sonography specializations and some information about what they do.
1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
A diagnostic medical sonographer works with doctors or healthcare specialists to diagnose patients’ medical conditions. As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will also be referred to as an ultrasound technician to take medical imaging. You will perform common job duties including
- Explain all necessary steps before performing the imaging process
- Operate ultrasound machines
- Report the images to physicians and identify any abnormalities if needed
Typically, diagnostic medical sonographers will work in hospitals and medical diagnostic testing centers.
2. Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonographer
Diagnostic cardiovascular sonographers use sonography to support doctors when diagnosing medical conditions related to the heart and cardiovascular system. Diagnostic cardiovascular sonographers (cardiac sonographers or echocardiographers) use echocardiograms to capture diagnostic images of internal systems. By using 2D and 3D images of the heart, diagnostic cardiovascular sonographers can examine its structure and recognize any irregularities such as blockages or deterioration. Then they deliver this information for physicians to diagnose conditions and prepare treatment plans.
When becoming a diagnostic cardiovascular sonographer, you will work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, or healthcare facilities that need cardiac specialists.
3. Abdominal sonographer
Abdominal sonographers are professionals using sonography equipment to create diagnostic images of internal organs of the abdomen such as livers, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, abdominal aorta. Due to the focus on the abdomen, abdominal sonographers need to undergo comprehensive training about abdominal systems and other related parts to assist physicians during diagnosing medical conditions. As an abdominal sonographer, you need to have a keen eye to determine abnormalities like tumors, tissue damage, or stones.
Abdominal sonographers can work in lots of work settings such as hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities treating patients who have ill risks related to abdominal regions.
4. Obstetric Sonographers
Obstetric sonographers have the responsibility of capturing fetuses’ images during pregnancy to evaluate and keep track of the fetus’s growth. This is a meaningful job because sonography will help physicians develop health plans for mothers throughout pregnancy. Obstetric sonographers also can also get images of the uterus to detect pregnancy when the fetus is still small and identify a potential due date for the baby’s arrival.
As an obstetric sonographer, you will work in hospitals, healthcare offices, outpatient care centers, private practices, and medical and diagnostic laboratories having maternity departments.
5. Musculoskeletal Sonographer
When it comes to musculoskeletal sonographers, this job has the duty to take diagnostic images of muscles and other parts of the skeletal system like tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves. By getting diagnostic images, they can identify medical conditions affecting patients’ mobility. Below are some conditions you should see musculoskeletal sonographers:
- Broken bones
- Trapped nerves or objects
Based on diagnosing from injury or accidents, musculoskeletal sonographers generally serve in hospitals, emergency rooms, and other medical facilities treating patients with traumatic injuries.
6. Breast Sonographer
Breast Sonographers specialize in using diagnostic images of the breast and surrounding tissue. When working in this field, you will work with imaging breasts, tissue, and lymph nodes to identify any irregularities causing any medical condition. Thanks to breast sonographers, patients can detect some abnormalities related to lumps, cysts, and tumors as well as diagnose cancer.
Breast sonographers focus on imaging breasts, so they work in hospitals, oncology centers, or women’s health centers.
7. Neurosonology Sonography
A neurosonology sonographer works with specialized equipment called the Transcranial Doppler (TCD) machine to catch diagnostic images of the brain. By using this tool, neurosonology sonographers can help physicians to diagnose patient conditions like cerebral palsy, encephalitis, and down syndrome. They also use a TCD machine to get images of spinal columns and nervous systems to detect irregularities including strokes, epilepsy, aneurysms, and brain tumors.
This job requires specialized equipment, neurosonology sonographers often works in hospitals and diagnostic testing centers with well equipped TCD machines.
The sonography career brings lots of job opportunities for medical candidates. If you are already a sonographer, we highly recommend you should consider earning the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree. It will help you to work at your speed to get a competitive edge and advance your career.