Ultrasound Sonographer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Ultrasound Sonographer, or Medical Ultrasound Specialist, uses specialised equipment to generate images of the inside of the human body for diagnostic purposes. Their primary duties include setting up the ultrasound equipment, carrying out ultrasound tests and producing prints of ultrasound images.

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Ultrasound Sonographer duties and responsibilities

Some of the duties and responsibilities an Ultrasound Sonographer performs include:

  • Setting up and maintaining ultrasound equipment
  • Performing ultrasound examinations on patients
  • Producing images resulting from the ultrasound examinations
  • Interpreting ultrasound images to aid patient diagnosis
  • Carrying out training on ultrasound equipment for other healthcare professionals
  • Addressing patients’ concerns before, during and after ultrasound examinations
  • Keeping up to date records of scans performed and images produced
  • Referring patients to other healthcare professionals and facilities, when necessary
  • Soothing and reassuring nervous or anxious patients 
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What does an Ultrasound Sonographer do?

An Ultrasound Sonographer creates images of internal human organs and other parts of the human body using ultrasound equipment. Their goal is to help Physicians make or confirm a diagnosis. They transmit sound waves into the bodies of their patients to produce the required images.

An Ultrasound Sonographer typically works in a hospital or a Physician’s office. They may also work in an imaging lab. Their expertise is required across various fields of medicine including gynaecology and obstetrics, radiology, dentistry, oncology, and ophthalmology. They frequently collaborate with Physicians, Nurses and other Medical Technicians to get their work done.

Ultrasound Sonographer skills and qualifications

An Ultrasound Sonographer will need a strong knowledge of human physiology and medical concepts. They should also  be excellent communicators with great interpersonal skills and have a good work ethic. A successful Ultrasound Sonographer will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • In-depth understanding of the principles of medicine and healthcare
  • Knowledge of human physiology and anatomy
  • Working knowledge of transducers and other ultrasound equipment
  • Excellent bedside manner
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent physical stamina and the ability to stand for long hours
  • Tact and discretion
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail

Ultrasound Sonographer experience requirements

Ultrasound Sonographers must have one to two years of experience working in a healthcare-related field. Experience as a Nurse or Radiographer is acceptable. Ultrasound Sonographers can gain experience through apprenticeships. Mid-level Ultrasound Sonographers need three to five years of experience, while Senior Ultrasound Sonographers will need over five years of experience to be qualified for the position. Other experience requirements will be determined by the employer. 

Ultrasound Sonographer education and training requirements

Typically, the minimum educational qualification required of an Ultrasound Sonographer is a university degree in radiology, midwifery, nursing, health science or a related field. A postgraduate certificate or diploma in clinical or medical ultrasound from an institution recognised by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) is also required. A master’s degree in medical ultrasound will be useful but is not always required.

Other training requirements include a sonographer degree apprenticeship and the registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS) qualification. Specific requirements will be set by the employer.

Ultrasound Sonographer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of an Ultrasound Sonographer in the UK is  £53.48 per hour. Their salary varies depends on factors, including their level of education, experience,  skill set, geographical location, industry and hiring company.

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Ultrasound Sonographer job description FAQs

What is the difference between an Ultrasound Sonographer and a Radiographer?

The difference between an Ultrasound Sonographer and a Radiographer is the imaging technology they use. While an Ultrasound Sonographer uses high-frequency sound waves to create diagnostic images, a Radiographer uses radiation technology for imagery. A Radiographer produces images with x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans. 

Radiographers produce images of bones and breast tissues,  while Ultrasound Sonographers deal with the cardiovascular system, the reproductive system, the musculoskeletal system and the abdominal region. Radiographers can also work in oncology, providing radiotherapy for cancer patients. 

What are the different types of Ultrasound Sonographers?

There are a few types of Ultrasound Sonographers. These include Cardiovascular Sonographers, who produce images of the heart and its chambers; Neurosonology Sonographers, who use specialised sound beams to create images of the brain; and Musculoskeletal Sonographers, who generate images of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints.

What makes a good Ultrasound Sonographer job description?

A good Ultrasound Sonographer job description will include all the information applicants need to know about your company and the position. This will enable them to decide if this is a good fit for them and allows you to attract the best candidates. Start with a description of your company, including important information such as your vision, goals and core values. Outline the daily responsibilities you expect the Ultrasound Sonographer to do. Also, include the skills and training they will need in order to perform these duties effectively. Make sure to include a salary range and any unique requirements such as certifications and professional memberships.

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