Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Sonographer career and educational opportunities abound in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There are currently 1,480 jobs for sonographers in North Carolina and this is projected to grow by 30% to 1,920 jobs 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. In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
The income of a sonographer is about $28 hourly or $59,800 yearly on average in North Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 hourly or $61,980 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as sonographers in North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Sonographers work in a variety of jobs, including: ultra sound technician, echo tech , and ultrasonic tester.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Winston-Salem where you can study to be a sonographer, among eighteen schools of higher education total in the Winston-Salem 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 studying 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 Winston-Salem 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
Forsyth Technical Community College - Winston Salem, NC
Forsyth Technical Community College, 2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, NC 27103-5197. Forsyth Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,748 students. Forsyth Technical Community College has 2 areas of study related to Sonographer. They are:
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.
- Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated twenty-five, one, 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: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is situated in Forsyth County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 217,600, which has grown by 17.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Winston-Salem, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Winston-Salem cost $76,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,032 new homes were built in Winston-Salem, down from 1,706 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Winston-Salem are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 30.3% of Winston-Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Winston-Salem is 9.0%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Winston-Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Wachovia Arbor Church, Mount Zion Church and Hope Church are all churches located in Winston-Salem. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Moravian Church in America.
Winston-Salem is home to the Stafford Center and the Dixie Classics Fairgrounds as well as Forest Park and Mineral Springs Park. Shopping centers in the area include College Plaza Shopping Center, College Village Shopping Center and Club Haven Shopping Center.