are medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images and scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic responsibility, sonographers have a high level of responsibility in the diagnostic process, certification in sonography is generally required. Sonographers require a high level of understanding in ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and communication skills; as well as highly developed psycho-motor skills that are specific to the profession.
Unfortunately, nearly 82% of sonographers will acquire some form of on-the-job injury due to the repetive-motion and constant pressure required to hold the transducer to obtain the images needed to complete the studies.
Sonographer is the name given to specialised Healthcare Practitioners who perform medical ultrasonography or ultrasound. The name is most commonly used in the United Kingdom, where the alternative term of Ultrasonographer is in much less common use. The American term of Ultrasound Technologist is not used in the UK.
Training and licensing
The Australian Sonographers Association (ASA) was formed in 1992 in response to the desire of Sonographers across Australia for an organisation which had as its charter, to exclusively represent and consider the issues confronting and challenging sonographers in the Australian healthcare environment. The ASA now has a membership of more than 2,100 sonographers and about 40 corporate members. The ASA has pledged to pursue high standards within the practice of Medical Sonography. The ASA has a structure of a Board of Directors and multiple representative Branches in all Australian states.
Australian sonographers must be accredited by the Australasian Sonographers Accreditation Registry (ASAR). ASAR’s brief is to accredit and re-accredit on a regular basis, ultrasound programs offered by Australian Universities (and the DMU), and to establish the criteria against which those programs and any other future Australian and New Zealand programs are to be judged. In addition a register of accredited (AMS) and student (ASS) sonographers is maintained and their continuing professional development (CPD) activities monitored and recorded.
In the UK where sonographers are also responsible for the interpretation of the images and issue diagnostic reports; education is provided by the universities and overseen by the Consortium for Accrediation of Sonographic Education (CASE.) There is currently no requirement for a Sonographer to be state registered in the UK, although most are registered with the The Health Professions Council
. State registration of Sonographers in their own right is being eagerly sought by the profession.
Within the United Kingdom, Sonographers are employed by the Hospitals with in the National Health Service, by private companies offering Healthcare services, or as temporary staff through specialised Employment agency.
In the United States the most widely accepted sonographic education is provided by CAAHEP/JRC-DMS accredited programs. The profession is sub-divided in specialties such as cardiac
, obstetrical, vascular, and general sonographers. General sonographers are registered in abdominal and/or obstetric and gynecologic sonography. There are two credentialing bodies in the United States for sonographers, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) with 55,000 registrants and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.
Certifications in sonography after examinations administered by the ARDMS and Cardiovascular Credentialing International are recognized and administered in some countries outside the US.