Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in St. Louis, Missouri
Sonographer career and educational opportunities abound in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, 1,020 people work as sonographers in Missouri. This is expected to grow 14% to about 1,150 people 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.
A person working as a sonographer can expect to earn about $29 hourly or $61,390 annually on average in Missouri and about $29 hourly or $61,980 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for sonographers are better than earnings in the general category of Healthcare Technical in Missouri and better than general Healthcare Technical category earnings nationally. People working as sonographers can fill a number of jobs, such as: ultrasound technologist, sonography technician, and ultrasound technician.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be a sonographer, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. The most common level of education for sonographers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 St. Louis 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
Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park - Saint Louis, MO
Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,164 students. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated zero and twenty-two 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: St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.
Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.
St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.