Everyone has personal and work values, and they influence the career choice and long-term path. When someone decides to become a sonographer in 2017, the values of most importance will provide the foundation for all future effort and endeavors. Having a desire to succeed is not enough. Sonography students need to embrace their values and use them to drive success and consistent effort throughout the educational process and a long career as an ultrasound technician.
Emphasis on Values to Become a Sonographer
Baton Rouge Community College offers a CAAHEP accredited program in ultrasound technology and posted the program handbook online. The book points out that the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program strives to help students embrace the skills, knowledge and values of teamwork. This is typical of accredited sonography programs which emphasize the importance of developing the right values, as well as the right skills.
What are Values?
In today’s hectic world, people seldom seem to take time to think about what is important to their lives. Values are the things that mean the most to a person in their personal and work lives. They help people prioritize their activities and guide responses to situations and events. Values can keep efforts, and life in general, on track by providing something to measure against.
Values are not rigid and can change with experience and knowledge. Someone who is young may think work is more important than developing personal relationships, but with age comes a greater appreciation for family and friends. There are hundreds of values. However, there are some values that can and should remain constant for everyone, including Allied Health professionals. Following is a list of 10 personal values that fall into this category:
- Hard Work
Values of a Sonographer
Reading further in the description of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in the Baton Rouge Community College Handbook, it is made clear that the program is focused on helping students identify how their personal values are applied during their careers. Graduates are prepared to deliver compassionate high quality imaging services that make a difference in the lives of patients.
Anyone who decides to become a sonographer needs to identify their personal values or what is most important to their lives. Is it bringing empathy to the job? Is it always being fully prepared to deliver state-of-the-art sonographic imaging services? Is it cooperatively working on a team of healthcare professionals?
Following is a list of 10 personal values a sonographer might identify as bringing the most satisfaction to their lives:
- Making a Difference
- Quality Orientation
- Results Oriented
Personal values are blended with work values to determine the ideal career. Work values refine the type of work and career path a person may take. Work values include things like the following:
- Helping Others
- Intellectual Stimulation
- Public Contact
- Research Work
- Work with Children
A sonography student who believes it is important to work on a team and help children would consider attending a medical sonography program specializing in pediatric sonography and earn the Pediatric Sonography (PS) credential. If a student believes that research work would bring the greatest career satisfaction, she or he would likely pursue a Master Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Though salary is not listed as a work value for this discussion, sonographers earn good money. Two common questions people ask are:
- How long does it take to become a sonographer?
- How much does a sonographer earn?
The time it takes to become a sonographer depends on the type of ultrasound degree pursued. The associate degree in sonography takes two years, while the bachelor’s degree takes four years. A diploma may take up to two years. If a personal value is to start a career as soon as possible, the length of time it takes to earn a degree should be considered and will influence the program the student applies to. Keep in mind that many general education courses can be taken online, and there are three CAAHEP accredited online sonography programs.
If earning a high ultrasound salary is a value, sonography is a good choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that sonographers were earning an average wage of $71,750 as of May 2016.
Take the Time
Taking the time to identify personal and work values is important because the process:
- Helps people live with meaningful purpose
- Guide the person as to the best career path
- Helps with decision making
- Keeps a person grounded by providing a foundation
- Helps to maintain harmony in life
- Helps a person achieve higher levels of satisfaction
In the age of technology, it may seem odd to suggest just sitting quietly and taking the time to identify the most important values. Think about what has evoked the most passionate interest over the years and the principles held most dear. When it is time to become a sonographer, the values and skills will lead to a very satisfying career providing medical imaging services.