Ultrasound technicians are important members of the medical profession as their work enables physicians to view the inside of the human body non-invasively. Ultrasound technology is incredibly useful for diagnosing many diseases – or for ruling them out. If you are considering a career in ultrasound technology, you have several different specialties to choose from, all of which will enable you to make a difference in peoples' lives.
Obstetric and Gynecological Technicians
When many people picture ultrasound procedures, the first thing they think of is a technician performing an ultrasound procedure on an expectant mother. Obstetric and gynecological ultrasound technicians specialize in imaging the female reproductive system. Much of their time is spent monitoring the growth and development of babies in the womb. These images enable doctors to check for any potential defects or complications -- and give parents the opportunity to catch glimpses of their babies before they are born. They may also perform ultrasounds on women who are not pregnant to aid in diagnosing medical conditions, such as ovarian cysts.
If a patient is suffering from frequent headaches or issues related to their nervous system, a doctor might have a neurosonography technician perform an ultrasound to help her form a diagnosis. Neurosonography techs specialize is using ultrasound technology to help doctors peer inside the brain and related nervous system, and commonly work alongside neurologists and neurosurgeons.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound technicians specialize in producing pictures of the musculoskeletal system. These technicians help doctors diagnose tears and abnormalities in the muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments, as well as arthritis, dislocations and soft tissue masses. Ultrasound technology can be more effective than X-ray technology in discovering issues related to the musculoskeletal system, as it produces images in real-time and allows the physician to see how these structures move.
Breast Sonography Technicians
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection is often considered the most important factor in cancer treatment. Breast ultrasound technicians produce images of the breasts, which can be highly effective at discovering and diagnosing cancer along with mammogram technology. Breast ultrasound technicians work with people through all stages of cancer to monitor and track the progression or regression of tumors.
Abdominal Ultrasound Technicians
The abnominal cavity contains almost all of the body's vital organs, and abdominal ultrasound technicians specialize in imaging all of them. From the liver and kidneys to the gall bladder and spleen, abdominal ultrasound technicians play a vital role in helping doctors diagnose diseases, injuries and abnormalities in patients.