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Summer 2001 Vol. 45, Number 2

Diagnostic medical sonographers: Seeing with sound

—NUTSHELL:
Combining a desire to help patients with an interest in state-of-the-art technology, these healthcare workers provide a vital service for diagnosing and treating medical conditions.


—SNIPPET:
Jill finishes preparing Roger for the procedure, attaching EKG patches on his chest and rubbing a cold gel on the area above his heart. She places an instrument called a transducer, which takes a kind of sonic photograph of the heart, over his chest. For the next 45 minutes, she uses sophisticated equipment to take many different readings. These images are meaningful to Jillís trained eye, and part of her job is to explain their function to Roger. Following the exam, she provides the results to his physician.

Diagnostic medical sonographers, like the one described in the example above, use special equipment to direct high-frequency sound waves into areas of a patientís body. 

Keep reading to learn more about diagnostic medical sonographers. Youíll learn what they do, including their various specialties within the occupation; what their working conditions, employment and outlook, and earnings are; and what qualifications and training they need to pursue a career.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: September 19, 2001