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Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for sonographers. There are currently 3,300 working sonographers in California; this should grow 18% to about 3,900 working sonographers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sonographers are expected to grow by about 18.3%. Sonographers generally produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Sonographers earn approximately $34 per hour or $72,690 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $29 per hour or $61,980 per year. Sonographers earn more than people working in the category of Healthcare Technical generally in California and more than people in the Healthcare Technical category nationally. Sonographers work in a variety of jobs, including: ultrasound technologist, ultra sound technician, and cardiac/vascular sonographer.

The Pasadena area is home to 210 schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Pasadena where you can get a degree as a sonographer. Sonographers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so it will take about two years to learn to be a sonographer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sonographer

Sonographer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Sonographers decide on appropriate apparatus settings and adjust patient positions to obtain the best sites and angles. They also observe and care for patients throughout examinations to insure their safety and comfort. Equally important, sonographers have to ready patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring them to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning them properly. They are often called upon to furnish sonograms and oral or written summaries of technical findings to physicians for use in medical diagnoses. They are expected to decide which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas. Finally, sonographers furnish sonograms and oral or written summaries of technical findings to physicians for use in medical diagnoses.

Every day, sonographers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for sonographers to observe screen during scan to insure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to apparatus as required. They are often called upon to operate ultrasound apparatus to produce and record images of the motion, shape and composition of blood, organs, tissues and bodily masses such as fluid accumulations. They also process and code film from procedures and complete appropriate documentation. They are sometimes expected to perform medical procedures such as administering oxygen, inserting and removing airways, taking vital signs, and giving emergency treatment, such as first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Somewhat less frequently, sonographers are also expected to maintain records that include patient data, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records such as pathology or post-operative reports.

Sonographers sometimes are asked to clean, check and maintain sonographic apparatus, submitting maintenance requests or performing minor repairs as needed. They also have to be able to decide whether the scope of exams should be extended, on the basis of findings and direct work with physicians and other health care team members, including providing assistance during invasive procedures. And finally, they sometimes have to maintain records that include patient data, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records such as pathology or post-operative reports.

Like many other jobs, sonographers must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pasadena include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sonographer Training

ATI College - Norwalk, CA

ATI College, 12440 Firestone Blvd Ste 2001, Norwalk, CA 90650. ATI College is a small college located in Norwalk, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 162 students. ATI College has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated sixty-one students in 2008.

Newbridge College-Monterey Park - Monterey Park, CA

Newbridge College-Monterey Park, 583 S Monterey Pass Rd, Monterey Park, CA 91754. Newbridge College-Monterey Park is a small college located in Monterey Park, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 20 students and an admission rate of 76%. Newbridge College-Monterey Park has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Kaplan College - North Hollywood, CA

Kaplan College, 6180 Laurel Cyn Blvd Ste 101, North Hollywood, CA 91606-3231. Kaplan College is a small college located in North Hollywood, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,095 students. Kaplan College has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated sixty-nine students in 2008.

West Coast Ultrasound Institute - Beverly Hills, CA

West Coast Ultrasound Institute, 291 S La Cienega Blvd Ste 500, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. West Coast Ultrasound Institute is a small school located in Beverly Hills, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 492 students. West Coast Ultrasound Institute has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated 126 students in 2008.

Casa Loma College-Van Nuys - Van Nuys, CA

Casa Loma College-Van Nuys, 6850 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 300, Van Nuys, CA 91405. Casa Loma College-Van Nuys is a small college located in Van Nuys, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 667 students and an admission rate of 91%. Casa Loma College-Van Nuys has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician.

Newbridge College-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

Newbridge College-Long Beach, 3799 E. Burnett St., Long Beach, CA 90815. Newbridge College-Long Beach is a small college located in Long Beach, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 420 students and an admission rate of 76%. Newbridge College-Long Beach has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Career Colleges of America - South Gate, CA

Career Colleges of America, 5612 E Imperial Hwy, South Gate, CA 90280. Career Colleges of America is a small college located in South Gate, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,087 students. Career Colleges of America has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician.

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science - Los Angeles, CA

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E 120th St, Los Angeles, CA 90059. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is a small university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 249 students. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science has a one to two year and a bachelor's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated nine and zero students respectively in 2008.

PCI College - Cerritos, CA

PCI College, 17215 Studebaker Rd #310, Cerritos, CA 90703. PCI College is a small college located in Cerritos, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 155 students. PCI College has a less than one year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician.

CERTIFICATIONS

Registered Technologist - Sonography: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Sonography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff sonographers at entry into the profession.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist: Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB) includes: Keratometry, Physics, Biometry Instrumentation, Instrument Settings for Biometry, Examination Techniques for Biometry, Sources of Error in Biometry, and Intraocular Lens Power Calculations.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California photo by Morgoth666

Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,080, which has grown by 6.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pasadena, 167, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pasadena are priced at $298,000 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Pasadena, down from one hundred thirty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Pasadena are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 41.3% of Pasadena residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pasadena is 9.7%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Pasadena residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Pasadena Church of God, All Saints Episcopal Church and Grace United Methodist Church are among the churches located in Pasadena. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Pasadena is home to the Annandale Golf Course and the Hill Avenue Branch Pasadena Public Library as well as Victory Park and Lower Arroyo Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hastings Ranch Plaza Shopping Center, Hastings Ranch Shopping Center and Plaza Pasadena Shopping Center. Visitors to Pasadena can choose from Best Western Pasadena Inn, Best Western Colorado Inn Pasa and Astro Motel Pasadena for temporary stays in the area.