You’re planning to become an ultrasound technician and you want more details about the job. Sure, you’re on the right page. You’ll find the necessary information right on this page. First off, choosing to become an ultrasonic technician is a great decision. Congrats!
Who is an Ultrasonic Technician?
An ultrasonic technician, also called a sonographer or an ultrasound technician, is anyone that specializes in using ultrasound equipment to scan the internal anatomy of the human body to make it visible. This process is needed for diagnostic purposes. It shows exactly what and where the problem is.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Ultrasonic Technician?
An ultrasound or ultrasonic technician works with both physicians and patients. He takes the scans and images of the patient’s internal organs at the request of a physician and shows the outcome to both patient and physician.
A physician will interpret the images and make an informed decision on the remedy of the situation if needed. Find your duties and responsibilities below.
- You will assist radiologists with ultrasound biopsies and procedures.
- It will be your duty to decide the best sonogram or image to capture for diagnostic purposes.
- The physician might also need your help with the interpretation and evaluation of the images.
- Of course, it’s your bit to educate and inform patients on ultrasound procedures in addition to providing support.
- You should always keep, maintain, and regularly update patients’ notes and records on their ultrasound history, if they have undergone any ultrasound procedure.
- It’s also the responsibility of an ultrasound technician to maintain and sterilize the ultrasound equipment and the entire procedure room. This should happen regularly.
- You have to program the scanner and adjust its settings for different procedures to make sure that the transducer picks images from every section or angle or as needed. This helps physicians with clarity.
- Ultrasound technicians are also responsible for applying the ultrasound gel to patients’ bodies as required.
While the eight responsibilities listed above are your core duties, you may be assigned other related tasks. It all depends on where you work and the number of hands available. Now that you have a better idea of what your duties will be, let’s talk about the requirements of the career field.
The Requirements to Become a Certified Ultrasound Technician
A Degree in Sonography – First, you need to get a degree in sonography. You can get a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in sonography. This will enable you to learn the fundamental or basic knowledge. It’s a wide and interesting field of study.
Industry Certification – You may need to be certified. Yes, the certification isn’t mandatory but it is necessary. You’re going into the industry to compete for better job opportunities, right? Great! Many ultrasound technicians are already certified. Do you think anyone will pick an uncertified technician over a certified one? Hell no!
Even if you get a job as a sonography technician, you won’t be placed on the same pay grade as certified technicians. So, the importance of certification cannot be overemphasized. You need Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) certification to be recognized as a top ultrasound technician.
It’s also important to let you know that you’ll need to take an SPI exam to get the required certificate. One smart way to ace the SPI exam is to test your knowledge with free SPI practice questions. The questions are made of past SPI exam questions. If you can handle them, then your chances of easing through the SPI exam are much higher.
Physical Strength – Yes, you have to be physically strong for this job because the job requires lifting heavy equipment all the time. That’s not all. You also need physical stamina to stand and remain on your feet for several hours. In other words, physical fitness is one of the requirements of the job.
Availability – The job needs you to be available for long shifts. Also, you might be on call at night and on weekends. You may also be on call during holidays. Is that fine with you?
In addition, you also need problem-solving, interpersonal, communication, and strong critical thinking skills, but it’s needless to talk about them since they are required for virtually all jobs. Now that you are aware of the requirements, you should also find out why SPI certification is necessary.
Benefits of SPI Certification
You must have acquired tangible knowledge while studying Sonography. However, you’ll need more knowledge and SPI certification will give you access to that knowledge. After the exam, you’ll be much more proficient and “experienced” than a fellow graduate of sonography without SPI certification.
As a mark of recognition, the SPI certificate confirms your dedication and competence. This will boost your professional reputation, your pay, and your chances of getting employed. The certificate stands you out from the crowd.
Once you pass the SPI exam and get certified, you’ll automatically be a mile ahead of your colleagues who do not have the certificate. Even patients will prefer their scans done by a certified sonograph specialist.
The certificate will open the door to more job opportunities because many imaging centers, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities prefer technicians with relevant certifications. Also, the certificate makes it easier for you to advance your career.
And without passing the SPI exam, you can’t get certified. That’s why you must acquaint yourself with SPI practice test questions as early as possible.
Higher Pay Grade
Earning a relevant certificate will give you a higher salary potential. Of course, this applies to all fields. And that’s fine because certification confirms recognition and competence. Think of it – you’ll rather have your Mercedes Benz SUV fixed by a certified mechanic for $2,500 than send it to an uncertified mechanic that has charged you $1,500. Why? It’s because certification increases credibility.
Besides, you have to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in ultrasound technology, and maintaining your SPI certificates ensures that.
Since passing the SPI exam is crucial to your ultrasonic technician career, you need to arm yourself with the few tips below.
Tips to Help You Pass SPI Exam
- The first step towards passing the exam is to study the outline of the examination. There are numerous sonography books, but knowing the content outline will guide you in selecting the best books to study for the examination.
- Study, study, and study!!! After purchasing or renting the required books, you need to study hard. Make sure you begin studying several months before your examination.
- Take the SPI practice test several times until you get all the questions right. The practice test also gives you an opportunity to acquire more knowledge. After the test, you’ll get your result which includes the answers to the questions you failed.
If you have decided to choose this career, you must also plan for certification because getting a degree in sonography is only half of the job. Getting SPI certification is the equally important remaining half. That’s why you should get more information about SPI certification here. The journey isn’t going to be easy but going through the wrong path will surely make it even more difficult.