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Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sonographers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 2,350 jobs for sonographers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow by 14% to about 2,650 jobs 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%. In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Sonographers earn about $26 per hour or $56,020 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $29 hourly or $61,980 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as sonographers in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. People working as sonographers can fill a number of jobs, such as: ultrasound technician, ultrasound technologist, and sonogram technician.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be a sonographer, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. Sonographers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Philadelphia 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

Gwynedd Mercy College - Gwynedd Valley, PA

Gwynedd Mercy College, 1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901. Gwynedd Mercy College is a small college located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,513 students and an admission rate of 57%. Gwynedd Mercy College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties which graduated zero and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Sanford-Brown Institute - Trevose, PA

Sanford-Brown Institute, 3600 Horizon Blvd., Suite GL1, Trevose, PA 19053. Sanford-Brown Institute is a small school located in Trevose, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,123 students. Sanford-Brown Institute has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington - Newark, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19702. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington is a medium sized college located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,460 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Thomas Jefferson University - Philadelphia, PA

Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Thomas Jefferson University is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,267 students. Thomas Jefferson University has 2 areas of study related to Sonographer. They are:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician, bachelor's degree which graduated 87 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated sixteen, zero, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Gloucester County College - Sewell, NJ

Gloucester County College, 1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, NJ 08080. Gloucester County College is a medium sized college located in Sewell, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,135 students. Gloucester County College has an associate's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated thirteen 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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.