What Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?

The word “ultrasound” often brings to mind the sonographic images of prenatal babies. While many ultrasound technicians do perform ultrasounds for pregnant women, there are many other important uses. For example, some ultrasound technicians specialize in vascular sonography, taking images of a person’s blood vessels to help diagnose diseases affecting the person’s blood flow.

The medical field is constantly growing, and persons qualified to work in the medical field are always in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth of diagnostic medical sonographers is 10 percent through 2032. While many jobs require extensive education, some medical careers only require an associate’s degree. Ultrasound technician is one of these careers, making it an excellent choice for those who want to join the medical field without needing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate.

Why Do People Work in the Medical Field?

Aside from the growth of the industry, people find personal satisfaction in helping others. Here are some other reasons why people get into the medical field:

Rewarding Work

Healthcare workers change the lives of others, which leads to great job satisfaction. This makes it easier to stay motivated, giving them a great sense of purpose. The work environment for most healthcare workers is constantly changing, which makes their work mentally stimulating.

Ultrasound technicians spend a lot of time creating images that other healthcare professionals use to diagnose and even treat certain diseases and conditions. Because of this, they know that their work is valuable in improving patient’s overall health outcomes.

Opportunities Across Locations

Florida employs many ultrasound technicians, and they may work in many medical facilities ranging from a traditional hospital to a physician’s private office. This makes jobs readily available for those with educational training. So, become a medical sonographer in your hometown and become a pillar of your community.

What Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?

At the heart of every ultrasound technician’s job is the creation of images. An ultrasound is an image of internal structures in the body, and it is made using high-frequency sound waves that are recorded by a medical instrument known as a transducer. The transducer, a handheld device of various shapes (depending on the body surface that is going to be used), is pressed over the patient’s skin. When the sound waves hit an internal structure, they bounce back to the transducer, which helps create the sonogram.

While ultrasound technicians focus on creating images using the technology, another part of their job is working directly with patients and other medical staff members.

Patient Liaison

It is essential that ultrasound technicians feel comfortable working with others since they work directly with patients. They greet patients, guide them to the examination room, and explain the ultrasound process. Ultrasound technicians must also be prepared to answer any questions and assist the patient in a comfortable position on the examination table.

Equipment Management

The education an ultrasound technician receives allows them to work with ultrasound imaging equipment. They learn how to disinfect and sterilize tools, like the transducer, and check to ensure all parts of the equipment are in good working condition. Ultrasound technicians must also clean and prepare their examination rooms before each patient enters.

Image Creation

Another crucial part of a sonographer’s job is identifying normal and abnormal sonogram results. They work with the radiologist or physician who will communicate the results to the patient. In either case, ultrasound technicians must ensure the images they take are clear and artifact-free. The physician may order new images if necessary. It is also helpful for the ultrasound technician to identify any urgent issues seen in images to prevent patient medical emergencies.

Physician Ambassador

Most ultrasound technicians work with a team of other medical professionals, who specialize in interpreting ultrasound image results. They may work with nurses and doctors to coordinate care. Therefore good communication is vital. For example, a doctor may explain a patient’s medical history to the ultrasound technician, and they may alert the doctor when an abnormality is seen in a sonogram.

Where Do Ultrasound Technicians Work?

Depending on the specialization of an ultrasound technician, they may work anywhere from a hospital to a long-term care facility, clinic, doctor’s office, or diagnostic laboratory. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of ultrasound technicians work in general medical and surgical hospitals or physician offices.

Can Ultrasound Technicians Have Specialties?

Ultrasound technicians can undoubtedly specialize in an area of sonography, although they will gain a base of knowledge from their Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Florida National University. Other specialties include breast sonographers, neuro-sonographers, cardiac sonographers, musculoskeletal sonographers, pediatric sonographers, obstetric/gynecologic sonographers, and vascular sonographers.

Abdominal Sonographers

Many educational programs include courses in general abdominal sonography since this is one of the most common uses of sonography. When a technician performs an abdomen ultrasound, they take images of the internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas, kidneys, gallbladder, and spleen.

Breast Sonographers

Breast sonographers take sonographic images of breast tissue, typically to search for or confirm the presence of abnormalities in the tissue. They work closely with other healthcare providers to diagnose conditions that may affect the breasts, including infections or breast cancer.


A neuro-sonographer is an ultrasound technician who specializes in taking images of the brain and nervous system. They require the use of a transcranial Doppler in place of a transducer. Neuro-sonographers are crucial in diagnosing neurological conditions.

Cardiac Sonographers

Cardiac sonographers or echocardiographers specialize in taking ultrasound images of the heart. Specifically, they look at the heart’s vessels, chambers, and valves. They will take classes in anatomy to prepare for this specialty. Sometimes, cardiac sonographers take ultrasounds during a woman’s pregnancy to diagnose possible heart conditions in prenatal babies.

Musculoskeletal Sonographers

Musculoskeletal sonographers take images of the body’s muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. They may assist with surgeries where imaging guidance is needed.

Pediatric Sonographers

Pediatric sonographers take sonograms of any area of the body; however, they specialize in working with young children and babies. They work with pediatricians to diagnose and monitor birth defects in babies and children after birth.

Obstetric/Gynecologic Sonographers

Many educational programs also teach students how to perform obstetric and gynecologic sonograms since these are popularly used to monitor pregnancies. With this specialization, ultrasound technicians may track the growth of a fetus while taking images of the female reproductive system.

Vascular Sonographers

A vascular sonographer takes sonograms of a person’s blood vessels, including veins and arteries. They track blood flow and help detect possible blood clots or blockages in the blood vessels.

How Do You Become an Ultrasound Technician?

To become an ultrasound technician, you must complete an accredited sonography program, which typically involves earning an associate’s degree. Then, you may obtain a certification in diagnostic medical sonography, from an association like the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

What Do You Learn in an Ultrasound Technician Program?

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Florida National University provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to become an entry-level diagnostic medical sonographer. Our program follows the guidelines set by the National Educational Curriculum for Sonography (NEC) and includes classes in the following areas:

  • General Studies
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • General Physics
  • General Psychology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Sonography and Patient Care
  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Small Parts
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Sonography
  • Echocardiography
  • Vascular Technology
  • Special Topics in Sonography

Eager to Learn More?

The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology Program will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to acquire the technical competencies to function as an entry-level Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. The curriculum that is followed in this Program complies with the National Educational Curriculum for Sonography (NEC) outline and accreditation agencies to provide competency-based, outcome-oriented, didactic, laboratory, and clinical experience as it relates to the general concentration, which includes Abdomen, obstetrics, and gynecology (OB/GYN).

Let Florida National University answer any questions if you are interested in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Contact us today to learn more about our Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology Degree program.