The entrepreneurial spirit is thriving in Diagnostic Medical Sonographers who choose to become contracted health professionals performing ultrasound examinations in a variety of medical settings. Rather than working for a single employer, the traveling sonographer works for many employers who need to temporarily fill a vacant position or better manage a workload. For many, this is the ideal working arrangement because it gives more control over work schedules and makes balancing a career and personal life easier. | See Job Openings
Have Experience, Will Travel
One of the attractions of working in the healthcare industry is the great variety of people and experiences health professionals encounter. Traveling sonographers enjoy an even greater array of experiences because they fill temporary positions as needed for different employers in various locations. How far the sonographer is willing to travel is a personal decision.
The typical traveling sonographer is hired to:
- Fill vacant positions
- Cover positions on temporary leave for medical reasons
- Temporarily fill positions of staff on vacation
- Increase service levels based on workload estimates
- Deliver mobile ultrasound imaging services
Some traveling sonographers are entrepreneurs who own their own businesses. There are many who choose to work for a staffing agency. Either way, the contracted person is in control of their work schedule.
There are a number of advantages to being a traveling Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. They include:
- Availability of a variety of work assignments
- Control over the work schedule since assignments can be accepted or rejected
- Ability to work full-time or part-time
- Ability to limit the amount of shift work
- Can gain experience working in a variety of healthcare settings that include hospitals, clinics, physician offices, etc.
- Performs a wider variety of ultrasound imaging procedures since not limited to a single department in a single location
- Meets a wide variety of people in the healthcare industry
- Often able to earn more when working for a temporary agency since travel expenses are covered
One of the reasons Diagnostic Medical Sonographers give for choosing this career path is that they are able to accept assignments where there is a true need for their healthcare services.
There are challenges to being a traveling healthcare professional:
- Need to learn new job requirements on a routine basis, including medical department computer systems and facility procedures
- Locations of job assignments are mixed, meaning traveling sonographer may need to travel to rural areas or to areas far away from home
- Frequent travel means being away from family and friends on a regular basis
- Work availability is not predictable
- May be asked to work less desirable shifts as a temporary staff member
Being a traveling sonographer is not for everyone. One of the reasons a sonographer will choose to work for a staffing agency, rather than start a contracting business, is that the agency invests the necessary resources to find the available work assignments. The staffing agencies are also likely to offer benefits like medical and malpractice insurance.
It is a personal decision as to whether or not a career as a traveling sonographer is a good choice. If it is, there are some points to keep in mind. First, it is important to verify the reputation of the staffing agency. Second, get a clear understanding of the staffing agency’s requirements and expectations, including possible locations and benefits paid. Third, investigate how many assignments are usually available at any given time.
For those sonographers who wish to own their own contracting business, working for a staff agency first is a good way to get an in-depth understanding of the demands placed on a traveling sonographer. The best career decisions are made only when the sonographer has all the information. | See Job Openings