We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Sonographer do?

By Svetlana Arutyunyan
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a professional who uses special equipment that depicts images of the inside of the human body. Those images are then displayed on a monitor and used by physicians to make diagnoses.

A sonographer applies a colorless and odorless gel on the skin in the area being examined. He or she then uses a small apparatus called a transducer on the same surface of the skin, which transmits sound waves inside the patient's body. These sound waves bounce back and create an image. That image is shown on a monitor, and is used to detect diseases, evaluate the health of an organ, or follow the progression of a fetus.

Unlike X-ray monitoring, the use of ultrasounds, or sonographs, does not emit harmful radiation. As a result, sonography is an expanding field as more people are choosing to use safer means of monitoring inside the human body.

Most sonographers work in a hospital setting, though some work in clinics, private doctor offices, laboratories, and public health facilities. A sonographer may choose to specialize in a certain area or areas. Some specialties include abdominal areas, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular technology, neurosonology, breast screening, and ophthalmology.

Typically, a sonographer spends prolonged periods of time standing. He also typically has to be able to lift up to 50 pounds (about 23 kg), bend frequently, and be in full use of the hands, wrists and shoulders. A sonographer has to be able to communicate with physicians, nurses, and patients, some of whom are healthy, and others who are critically ill.

Prerequisites to becoming a sonographer varies among countries and even US states. Typically, to become a sonographer in the US, one to four years of education and experience will be necessary to become sufficiently proficient in a given specialty. Though the amount of years studying varies by specialty, most sonographers spend about two years training at a hospital, vocational and technical institutions, colleges and universities, or the Armed Forces.

It is important for a sonographer to ensure that the institution where he or she is studying is reputable because many employers look to hire from accredited institutions. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is one of the places where one can obtain a list of accredited programs in diagnostic medical sonography.

Some of the benefits of sonography work include helping people, interacting with patients one-on-one, and expanding one’s skills as the field of ultrasound technology expands.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ceilingcat — On Jul 07, 2011

@strawCake - You're so right about the variable working conditions. I had an abdominal ultrasound done at a medical imaging center and the conditions for my ultrasound tech were much different than what you're describing.

The tech who performed my ultrasound told me she loved her job! She worked regular hours at the imaging center and did her ultrasounds by appointments. So not too much rushing around, unlike at a hospital. My tech also told me she really enjoyed interacting with the patients which I thought was really nice.

By strawCake — On Jul 06, 2011

I had an ultrasound done on my legs recently. My doctor suspected I had a blood clot, but luckily it turned out to be nothing. I did get a chance to chat with the ultrasound technician a little bit though and I found out some interesting things about the job.

I had my ultrasound done in a hospital late and night, so the tech who performed my ultrasound was the only one on duty. She told me that some nights she is bored because no one needs an ultrasound but then other nights she runs around like crazy! So you never know. She also told me she deals with a lot of interesting patients and some of them can be quite difficult.

I would imagine that working conditions would vary depending on where you work though.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.