What Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?
An ultrasound technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, performs and interprets ultrasound scans to produce visualizations of internal organs and tissues to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They use specialized equipment to direct high-frequency sound waves into a patient’s body and then capture the echoes created by the sound waves as they rebound off organs and tissues.
Typical duties for ultrasound technicians include recognizing and recording the appropriate anatomy and pathology, writing reports based on the scan results, and alerting any abnormalities that need immediate attention. Ultrasound technicians may work independently or with minimal supervision on a team. This job requires maintaining the strictest levels of confidentiality and great interpersonal, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. An ultrasound technician will have the ability to remain focused in a fast-paced environment and the flexibility to work long shifts.
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National Average Salary
Ultrasound technician salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Ultrasound Technician is:
Ultrasound Technician Qualifications to Look For
- Operated ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various areas of the body
- Interpreted and analyzed sonographic images in real-time
- Prepared patients for procedures, explaining the process and ensuring their comfort
- Maintained patient records and added analytical notes to the images/videos captured
- Collaborated with radiologists or other medical professionals to evaluate the images and to determine if more scans are necessary
- Calibrated, maintained, and performed minor repairs on the ultrasound equipment
- Followed proper protocols to ensure patient safety and minimize radiation exposure
- Kept updated with new sonographic techniques and procedures
- Managed appointment schedules and ensured timely reporting of results to referring physicians
- Assisted physicians during invasive procedures that use ultrasound guidance, such as biopsies
- Excellent communication and patient care skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Ability to work under pressure
- Empathy and compassion toward patients
- Problem-solving skills
- Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or a related field
- Some institutions offer one-year certificate programs for individuals already in the healthcare field looking to transition or expand their expertise
- Certification from recognized institutions, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), is often required or highly preferred by employers
- Depending on the region or country, a state or national license may be required
- Continuous professional development to stay updated with new sonographic technologies and techniques
Ultrasound Technician Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting an ultrasound technician, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real-world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
Entry-level Ultrasound Technician
In this role, the Sonographer (Ultrasound), under the general supervision of an attending radiologist, and in accordance with department protocols, will utilize high-frequency sound waves and other diagnostic techniques to produce and evaluate ultrasound images and related data which is used by physicians in rendering a medical diagnosis resulting in quality patient care.
- Performs and demonstrates competence in ultrasonic scanning procedures by producing, assessing and evaluating ultrasound images and related data that are used by physicians to render a medical diagnosis
- Recognizing, identifying and appropriately documenting normal anatomy, abnormalities, disease, pathology and pathophysiology for accurate medical diagnosis.
- Performing all types of ultrasound procedures and services, in accordance with department protocol, to ensure appropriate patient care for patients in all age categories (neonatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric).
- Completing ultrasonic scans within given procedure time parameters when performing ultrasonic scans to expedite patient care.
- Labeling and identifying ultrasonic scans with proper information including patient name, medical record number, and scanning orientation for accurate documentation of ultrasonic images.
- Assesses, plans, and provides age appropriate care, education and comfort for each patient.
- Control the spread of disease and infection by following and maintaining infection control/universal precautions policies.
- Anticipating, assessing and responding to patient needs to improve or maintain patient status. (with special attention given to patient comfort, modesty and the operation of IV’s, monitors, foley catheter.)
- Provide patient education and alleviate apprehension by explaining ultrasonic procedures and answering questions for patients.
- Employing professional judgment and discretion in order to protect the patient’s rights and privacy.
- Performs all required hospital and department documentation & verification in an accurate and proficient manner to aid in a timely diagnosis and proper billing as well as performs clerical functions to assure proper operations of the Ultrasound department.
- Completes all required documentation in a timely manner.
- Verifies that all patient information & demographics are correct & entered into the scanner via modality worklist. Patient Demographic includes patients name, medical record number, date of birth, requisition number, date, physician and time.
- Verifies physician orders in computer systems (EPIC & RIS) before performing procedures.
- Verifies that all exam images are in PACS/Kinetdxs.
- Tracks patient procedures in computer following RIS protocol and verifies that information is tracked correctly.
- During computer downtime, follows appropriate procedure and completes paperwork when computer resumes function.
- Obtains, reviews and brings together pertinent patient history, physical examination and supporting clinical data to facilitate diagnostic results.
- Contacts physicians or representatives from other departments to coordinate scheduling for invasive ultrasound procedures to ensure continuity in care.
- Associates Degree
- Specify Degree(s): AAS in Radiologic Technology
- 0-2 years of previous job-related experience
- CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
- Other: Registration within one year of hire in a minimum of one to two specialties of either Abdomen and/or Obstetrics & Gynecology required
- Registration in both Abdomen and Obstetrics & Gynecology preferred.
- Ability to communicate verbally
- Ability to deal calmly and courteously with people
- Ability to deal with stressful situations
- Ability to finish tasks in a timely manner
- Ability to follow oral and written instructions and established procedures
- Ability to function independently and manage own time and work tasks
- Ability to maintain accuracy and consistency
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Ability to organize workflow
- Ability to work as an effective team member
Preferred computer skills
- IDX Radiology
- Microsoft Word
- Net Learning
Junior OB Ultrasound Technician
ABC Company is seeking a registered Ultrasound Technologist to join our women’s healthcare practice in (city, state). The ideal candidate is an experienced professional who has a certificate in abdominal and gynecologic sonography. We run a fast-paced office with three medical providers. The successful applicant will communicate clearly and frequently with our team to ensure the highest level of care for our patients.
- Prepare the exam room and ultrasound equipment to conduct examinations
- Recognize and record the appropriate anatomy and pathology using sonographic equipment
- Calibrate, maintain, and control all ultrasound equipment
- Explain ultrasound procedures to patients so they feel comfortable with the experience
- Alert appropriate medical staff of any abnormalities that need immediate attention
- Use the ability to solve problems and make decisions
- Work independently or with minimal supervision and as part of a team
- Manage multiple priorities and projects, and display flexibility in a fast-paced work environment
- Display good work ethic and friendly and cheerful disposition
- Maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality
- Pursue professional development for the continual improvement of patient care
- 2+ years experience as a gynecologic or abdominal ultrasound technician
- Gynecology sonography certification required
- Knowledge of human anatomy and functions
- Ability to communicate with patients and medical staff clearly and concisely
- High level of professionalism
- Ability to multitask
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- A passion for collaborating with a leadership team that is focused on creating exceptional women’s healthcare
Mid-level OB/MFM Sonographer
About the role
As an experienced OB/MFM sonographer, you will be working in a fast-paced, rapidly growing environment where you will be relied on for your expertise, professionalism, and collaboration. This position performs high-quality and accurate diagnostic ultrasound images. Interacts with patients, physicians, and staff in a professional and friendly manner. This is a full-time position.
- Conduct phone meetings with physicians throughout the medical office to answer questions or attain details relating to ordered sonographic images
- Prepare ultrasound equipment and exam room ensuring proper sterilization and safety procedures are followed
- Review the patient’s medical chart prior to their appointment and have a clear understanding of the images required
- Use positioning tools and safety equipment properly to ensure patient safety and comfort throughout the imaging
- Attend continuing education courses and work to advance personal knowledge and experience within the field
- Use ethical judgment and critical thinking skills to perform diagnostic imaging safely
- Review images before sending to the physician to ensure a clear image of the area requested
- Use ethical judgment and critical thinking skills to perform diagnostic imaging safely
- Completion of formal ultrasound training in an AMA approved school, and meeting the requirements for registry by ARDMS
- RDMS/RVT required
- Understanding and ability to follow MD protocols for procedures
- Ability to effectively operate all pieces of equipment utilized within the scope of this job
- Prior experience with fertility patients strongly preferred
- Minimum of three years of experience as an ultrasound technologist in women’s health
- Proficiency with EMR for documentation and sonographic report presentation
- Demonstrated knowledge and adherence to HIPAA legislation and other patient privacy laws
- Experience working with sensitive and personal patient records and information
- Physical endurance and the ability to work primarily in a standing position
- Proficient in troubleshooting common software and hardware challenges in relation to the regular use of an ultrasound machine
- Accountability and attention to detail is essential when handling and documenting important medical information
- A friendly and professional demeanor is required when explaining procedures and processes to patients
[Health System] is seeking a Sonographer to collaborate with radiologists to obtain high quality ultrasound images. At the heart of everything we do, you’ll find dynamic team members working together to deliver remarkable patient experiences. Come join a remarkable team where quality care meets quality service, in every dimension, every time. Let [Health System] be the destination for your professional growth.At [Health System], one of our core values is diversity and inclusion. By engaging the strengths and talents of each team member, we ensure a strong organization capable of providing remarkable healthcare to our patients, families and communities. Therefore, we invite applicants from all group dynamics to apply to our exciting career opportunities.
- Education: Associate’s Degree required. Bachelor’s Degree preferred. Associate’s Degree or a graduate of an accredited radiologic technology program is required and current registration through the ARRT or ARDMS and current registrations in no less than 3 body parts.
- Experience: Five years of experience as an Ultrasound Technician is required. Seven years of experience preferred.
- Licensure/Certification/Registration: Sonography Certification in 3 body parts required. Certification in Sonography.
- Additional Skills Required: Knowledge of ultrasound procedures and standards. Skill in operation of ultrasound equipment.
- Additional Skills Preferred: Certification in additional specialty. Ability to network and recruit to gain new talent for the Centers.
- Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of every [Health System] team member to deliver the most remarkable patient experience in every dimension, every time.
- Our team members are part of an environment that fosters teamwork, team member engagement and community involvement.
- The successful team member has a commitment to leveraging diversity and inclusion in support of quality care.
- All [Health System] team members are responsible for fostering a safe patient environment driven by the principles of “First Do No Harm”.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why did you choose a career in sonography?
- Can you explain the basic principles of ultrasound technology and how it assists in patient diagnosis and treatment?
- What types of ultrasound procedures are you most experienced with? Which do you find the most challenging, and why?
- Describe your approach when preparing patients for an ultrasound procedure. How do you explain the process and address any concerns they might have?
- In your opinion, what are the key qualities an ultrasound technician must possess to be successful in this field? How have you demonstrated these qualities in your previous roles?
- Discuss a challenging case you’ve handled in the past. How did you manage it and what was the outcome?
- How do you ensure accurate measurements and interpretations during an ultrasound procedure?
- Can you describe your familiarity with Doppler imaging and how you’ve used it in your professional practice?
- Safety is crucial in any medical role. What safety measures do you take when operating ultrasound equipment?
- Could you talk about your experience with obstetric and gynecological sonography? What specific challenges does it present?
- What types of ultrasound machines are you proficient with? How quickly can you adapt to a new model or brand?
- What methods do you use to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality during an ultrasound procedure?
- Discuss a situation where you had to work closely with other healthcare professionals for a patient’s ultrasound. How did you ensure effective communication and collaboration?
- Explain how you stay current with the advances in ultrasound technology and methodologies.
- How do you handle difficult or anxious patients, especially when they are uncomfortable with the ultrasound process?
- Considering your past experiences, what improvements or innovations would you suggest in the ultrasound procedure for enhanced patient care and efficiency?