Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in Westminster, Colorado
There are many career and education opportunities for sonographers in the Westminster, Colorado area. About 600 people are currently employed as sonographers in Colorado. By 2016, this is expected to grow 28% to about 770 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sonographers are expected to grow by about 18.3%. In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
Income for sonographers is about $33 hourly or $69,380 yearly on average in Colorado. Nationally, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,980 yearly. Sonographers earn more than people working in the category of Healthcare Technical generally in Colorado and more than people in the Healthcare Technical category nationally. Sonographers work in a variety of jobs, including: ultrasound technician, ultrasound technologist, and cardiac/vascular sonographer.
The Westminster area is home to sixty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Westminster where you can get a degree as a sonographer. The most common level of education for sonographers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a sonographer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sonographer
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 Westminster include:
- 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
Red Rocks Community College - Lakewood, CO
Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255. Red Rocks Community College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,432 students. Red Rocks Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated seven and three students respectively in 2008.
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: Westminster, Colorado
Westminster is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 107,056, which has grown by 6.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Westminster, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Westminster are valued at $376,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixty-two new homes were built in Westminster, down from one hundred forty-six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Westminster are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 31.3% of Westminster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Westminster is 6.2%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.
The percentage of Westminster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.
Westminster is home to the The Golf Courses at Hyland Hills and the The Plaza at Westminster. Visitors to Westminster can choose from Comfort Suites, LA Quinta - Inns- Westminster Mall and Doubletree Hotel Denver Boulder for temporary stays in the area.