A medical sonographer is someone who enjoys people, finds technology fascinating and enjoys an exciting career. It is an excellent career choice for the right people. Selecting a career is a major decision because it will determine a financial future and how a good portion of life’s time is spent. When choosing a career in 2017, like Diagnostic Medical Sonography, it is important to make sure the decision is made on career facts and not myths.
Three Medical Sonographer Myths
There are some myths that persist about sonography.
The first one is this: All sonographic procedures are non-invasive. That is not true because ultrasound technology is now used in some invasive procedures (What are Sonographer Job Duties in the Real World?).
To perform ultrasounds in some cases involves the insertion of a special probe inserted into the rectum, vagina or esophagus. There are also invasive procedures performed by physicians that may require the assistance of trained sonographers. For example, ultrasound is used to guide the physician during a biopsy of tissue.
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) also addresses a myth. The second myth is that ARDMS recognizes the term “registry-eligible.” There are employers who accept job applications from people who are registry-eligible, but that is a credential with no standing. ARDMS only recognizes a credential after the exam candidate has successfully passed the SPI exam and a specialty exam. The SDMS Code of Ethics for the Profession of Diagnostic Medical Sonography makes it clear that achieving the highest level of competency means obtaining sonography credentials from a national accreditation organization.
A third myth that persists is that it is not necessary to attend a CAAHEP accredited sonography program. This is a myth that has been addressed many times on the Ultrasound Technician Center. The online forums are filled with advice from people who did not earn their degree in sonography from a CAAHEP accredited program and are unable to find an ultrasound job.
Six More Career Myths
There are sonography myths, and there are general career myths. While investigating the sonography occupation, keep in mind that it is important to understand training requirements, and research career options and potential ultrasound salary. At the same time, it is equally important to do a personal assessment of goals and interests.
While considering a career in sonography, keep the following six common myths about careers in mind.
Success is defined by salary.
Each person defines success. Success is a function of what is personally important. Sonography students have decided they want a profession in healthcare and want to help people get the best healthcare services. The excellent salary potential is attractive, of course, but most people do not choose a healthcare career because of money.
Once deciding to be a sonographer, the sonography career path is locked in for decades.
Sonographers have interesting careers that can take different tracks. Some ultrasound technicians decide to take additional specialty exams or will pursue a career in administration over time (learn more sonography career paths). There are even sonographers who decide to pursue an additional healthcare degree in a related field in order to expand options.
A high-demand job guarantees a successful career.
The high-demand for sonographers does not guarantee success. It is the person’s job training and effort that determines success, as is true for any job. Successful sonographers are good communicators, focused on people and always maintain a high level of professionalism. It is possible to earn a high salary as one indication of success, but the salary is dependent on a number of factors. The factors include location and specialty (learn which 4 factors affect sonographer salary).
It is better to take a year off school and think about starting a program later
The sonography programs have limited enrollment so it is better to apply now in case there is a waiting list for the school of choice.
Sonography jobs require working a schedule that does not leave time for family.
Thousands of sonographers have successful careers and find plenty of time to spend with family. It is a matter of time management and planning.
Everyone who chooses sonography for a career have excellent math and science skills
Each student has strengths and weaknesses. Successful students acknowledge their weaknesses and take steps to minimize their impact. Not all students are excellent in all subjects.
Learn the Truth!
The career decision is too important to make based on myths. The ARDMS registered sonographer earns an excellent salary in recognition of the training and level of professionalism of the ultrasound technician. Here are career facts: The Bureau of Labor statistics says the bottom 10 percent of sonographers, likely the least experienced, are earning an average salary of $48,660. The job outlook for 2014-2024 is also excellent with a projected job growth rate of 26.4 percent.