Diagnostic sonographers use the latest technology to look inside the body in different ways.
You’ll operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of the motion, shape and composition of blood, organs, tissue, or bodily masses, such as fluid accumulations.
A typical day for a medical sonographer is to:
- Create advance digital images of patients using computer imaging systems
- Monitor video displays of medical equipment to ensure proper functioning
- Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment
- Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities
There are 3 main entry points into becoming a sonographer:
- University – You will need a degree in a relevant subject like: radiography, midwifery, nursing, science, health science. You must also complete a postgraduate certificate or a post graduate diploma in medical or clinical ultrasound, recognised by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE). You will need to be able to meet all of the practical requirements of the course as well as the theory, so you must have an agreed placement in an approved setting. You’ll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree and a degree in a relevant subject for post graduate study
- Apprenticeship – There may be opportunities with the NHS, and independent and private providers of healthcare services. You’ll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship.
- If you’re a health professional like a nurse, midwife, radiographer, doctor or a healthcare scientist, you may be able to take in-service training for medical ultrasound to add sonography to your skills. Courses vary in length and are generally run by experienced healthcare professionals