Medical Sonography

By Lainey Sandborg

Overview

Sonographers use ultrasound equipment to examine and test areas of a patient's body. The images produced by the ultrasound help doctors diagnose and treat patients' illnesses and injuries. Medical sonographers work with patients before and during ultrasounds. They explain to their patients how the procedure works and answer any questions the patient may have.

Skills and Abilities

The most important skills and abilities medical sonographers need to posses would be communication, problem solving, managing, working with people and things, and perception and visualization. They need to be able to communicate with their patients and doctors to let everyone know what's going on, and if there is anything irregular going on with the patient. They need to be able to problem solve so they can combine numerous pieces of information and draw conclusions. Sonographers need to be able to manage time, themselves, and be able to manage their patients. They need to be able to perceive and visualize situations to imagine how something will look if it's moved around or if its parts are rearranged.

Working Conditions, Wages and Outlook

Medical sonographers are exposed to diseases and infections, they have to work very close to other people, need to wear safety attire, and they must be able to get into awkward, close positions. The work schedule for sonographers is a set schedule, they are full time, and work about 40 or more hours a week.


The median wage for a sonographer in Minnesota is about $73,500 a year, and the U.S. median is $66,410. Employment outlook for sonographers in Minnesota is about 31.1%, and in the U.S. is about 46.1%.

Related Occupations and Programs of Study

Radiation Therapists, Medical Lab. Technicians, Registered Nurse, and Surgical Technologist are all related occupations.


Related programs of study are anatomy, Medical Imaging Technology, Physics, Physiology, and Polysomnography.

Medical Imaging Technology

Overview

Medical Imaging Technologists prepare people under the supervision of physicians, to take x-ray and other kinds of images of patients.

Program Admission

Admission requirements for medical imaging technology are ACT, SAT, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification, clinical observation, volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview.

Typical Course Work and Related Programs

Typical Course Work is:

Medical Ethics and Law, Trigonometry, Psychology, Medical Imaging Review, Radio-graphic Positioning, Surgical, Trauma, and Mobile Radiography.


Related programs are:

Anatomy, Medical Assisting, Radiation Therapy, Ultrasound and Sonography Technology, Polysomnography.

Schools that offer this Program

St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota, Red Rocks Community College, Pima Medical Institute

St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University

Location- St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Size of Nearest City- 63,800 people

Type of school- Urban, Public, Co-ed 4 year college

Admission Requirements

The deadline to apply to SCSU for the fall semester, is August 16, and the deadline to register for the spring semester is December 30.


The Admission Tests that are required for students to take to be able to get into SCSU are the ACT and SAT.


The average ACT test score for a student to be accepted into SCSU is a 21. Students have to have a GPA of at least 2.0 or higher, to also be accepted.

Expenses

The in state tuition for St. Cloud is $7,553, the cost for room and board is $7,560, and other expenses like books, can cost up to $1,200. The Estimated total cost to attend St. Cloud State University for an in-state student would be about $16,313.


The application fee to apply at SCSU is $20.

Financial Aid

The deadline to apply for financial aid for the fall term is May 1st.


The required forms that are needed for financial aid are the FAFSA, and SAR.


Scholarships that are available at St. Cloud are Financial Aid, School Sponsored Scholarships, and Need-based Scholarships.

Housing and Activities

Housing options at St. Cloud are co-ed, men only, and women only. Their food plans are Husky Anytime, which gives you unlimited access to Garvey with $175 in Munch Money, Husky 14, which you get to pick 14 meals per week in Garvey, with an additional $200 in Munch Money, Husky pick 4, where you get unlimited access to Garvey 4 days every week, with additional $400 in Munch Money, and Husky to go, which is where you pick 3 meals a week in Garvey, plus $300 in Munch Money, and is only available to students living in Stateview and Coborn's Plaza.


Activities include clubs and organizations like Student government, orchestra, drama, and radio station. Greek life that is available are national or local fraternities, and national or local sororities.


Athletics and intramurals that are available are volleyball, wrestling, dance, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, and football.


Some other things that you can get involved with on campus are job fairs, the career library, and career counseling.

Informational Interview

Questions

Q-- Briefly record your thoughts and feelings about the workplace and the person you just visited.

A-- I think that this interview was a great way of getting insight for me, since I want to be working in the healthcare setting. It was very laid back, and I thought it went great.


Q-- What did you learn in the interview?

A-- I learned a lot of things that I didn't know already. One thing I learned was that nurses have the majority say in what goes to benefit the patient the most.


Q-- What did you like? What didn't you like?

A-- I liked learning that you get to know your patients very well, and that you get to have a good type of relationship with them. I didn't like learning that you will have to be the person to give them bad news when it's necessary.


Q-- Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation?

A-- The career changes everyday with new technology, standards of care, and new laws.


Q-- What advice did you receive?

A-- Go to college for 4 years instead of 2, and work any job that you care for people, because you will need experience to know if this job is for you or not.


Q-- Did you discover another occupation to explore?

A-- Social work.


Q-- How was the work environment?

A-- Very respectful.


Q-- Do you think you would be happy in this occupation?

A-- I think I would, but also would not be happy in this occupation. I would be happy because I would be getting to help people, and I wouldn't be happy because I really want to be an Ultrasound Technician.