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Should You Become a Sonographer or a Medical Assistant?

As the title implies, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or ultrasound technologists assume diagnostic responsibilities as related to assessing sonographic images. Sonographers are highly skilled professionals who are proficient at using specialized ultrasound medical equipment and interpreting the images produced. They must use professional judgment when determining the images needed and while interpreting results. The Medical Assistant does limited clinical duties, as directed by physicians and other healthcare professionals, and a variety of administrative duties. It is a more generalized profession than ultrasound technology.

Typical Duties of the Sonographer

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer uses medical equipment that produces high frequency sound waves to create visual images of the body’s organs, tissues and systems. Using a transducer that sends regular high frequency sound waves into the body, the ultrasound technologist moves it around the skin over the internal structures to be assessed. The sound waves bounce off the tissues, organs and systems, and the computerized medical equipment constructs an image of the internal structures.

To ensure quality images are produced, the sonographer does the following work activities during a normal shift:

  • Create, review and update patient’s medical history
  • Verify ultrasound equipment is working properly, performing routine tests and maintenance activities
  • Input data into imaging software systems and process relevant information
  • Assist patients with getting on and off the imaging table and position the patient’s body as needed to obtain the ideal images
  • Determine the type and number of images needed for ideal diagnostic results
  • Assess images, looking for signs of physical disorders or diseases, and document technical findings for transmission to physicians
  • Maintain a variety of medical records and required forms, both medical and legal
  • Work with a variety of healthcare professionals, including physicians, radiologists, registered nurses, patient aides and numerous other people

 

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