What is a Cardiovascular Sonography Technician Career Like?
March 7, 2014
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If you are preparing for a career as a cardiovascular sonography technician, your work will involve using ultrasound technology to produce images of the heart and blood vessels. These professionals are known as cardiovascular echo sonographers and echocardiographers. They obtain detailed information about patients that enable doctors to diagnose the disorders affecting their circulation. The data derived from this medical test is critically important, and as a cardiovascular sonography technician you will provide a valuable service within the health care system.
How Echocardiograms Help Doctors
The ultrasound instrument emits sound waves that produce images of the heart's chambers, valves and blood vessels. These images are used to measure oxygen saturation, blood flow and blood pressure. Regardless of whether you perform this test when patients are resting or conduct it following their physical activity, the results can help doctors discover the cause of symptoms the patients are experiencing. Echocardiograms are also used to monitor the status of a patient's circulation before, during and after medical procedures. Additionally, the tool can be used to diagnose the condition of a fetal heart during pregnancy.
Duties of a Cardiovascular Sonographer
One aspect of your duties will include preparing patients by answering their questions and taking their history. You will manage the equipment and maintain patients' records. In the process of performing the ultrasound, technicians act as detectives because they may notice a problem in the heart that warrants investigation. The job involves identifying the differences between normal and abnormal images, analyzing the results and sending the summary to the doctors.
Hospitals are the setting of most of these jobs, although some technicians are employed in doctors' offices and clinics. You will typically work 40-hours, 5-days per week, and this may involve weekend duty. Because these tests may be needed in an emergency, you may be on call at night and on weekends.
Salary and Job Outlook
In May 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the national average salary for cardiovascular technicians and technologists as $52,070, and the national average salary for diagnostic medical sonographers as $65,860. The BLS projects that jobs in this field will grow much faster from 2012 to 2022 than the average national rate for all professions.
This ultrasound is an important tool to help doctors diagnose disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Because correct diagnoses lead to positive health outcomes, your work as a cardiovascular sonography technician will make a difference in the lives of the patients you encounter. It is the recognition of this difference that will make your career rewarding.
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