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Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in North Las Vegas, Nevada

Sonographers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the North Las Vegas, Nevada area. There are currently 170 working sonographers in Nevada; this should grow by 37% to about 230 working sonographers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for sonographers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.3% over the next eight years. Sonographers generally produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Sonographers earn about $33 per hour or $68,840 annually on average in Nevada and about $29 hourly or $61,980 per year on average nationally. Incomes for sonographers are better than in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Nevada, and better than the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. Sonographers work in a variety of jobs, including: diagnostic medical sonographer, cardiac/vascular sonographer, and sonogram technician.

The North Las Vegas area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of North Las Vegas where you can get a degree as a sonographer. Given that the most common education level 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

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 North Las Vegas 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

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has an associate's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

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: North Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Meridethmyers

North Las Vegas is situated in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,253, which has grown by 88.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in North Las Vegas, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in North Las Vegas cost $207,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-four new homes were built in North Las Vegas, down from 2,365 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in North Las Vegas are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 10.2% of North Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in North Las Vegas is 14.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of North Las Vegas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

North Las Vegas is home to the Craig Ranch Country Club and the Craig Road Speedway as well as Valley View Park and Highland Valley Park. Shopping malls in the area include Cheyenne Shopping Center and College Park Shopping Center. Visitors to North Las Vegas can choose from Starlite Motel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Texas Station for temporary stays in the area.