What Is Ultrasound Technology? - Video

Ultrasound technology, also known as diagnostic medical sonography or simply sonography, is a technology used in the medical field to generate images of internal body tissues and organs. Medical professionals who specialize in ultrasound technology typically work as sonographers or ultrasound technicians. Learn more about careers in ultrasound technology here.

Ultrasound Technology Explained

When most people think of ultrasound technology, they think of the procedure pregnant women often have to capture images of their unborn babies. Although ultrasound technology can be used for this purpose, it is also used to help doctors diagnose disease and other medical problems. In fact, ultrasound technology is thought to be one of the most non-invasive diagnostic tools available to medical professionals.

Unlike other imaging techniques, ultrasound technology is a radiation-free way to take pictures of internal organs and tissues. Ultrasound machines use high frequency sound waves to capture still images and images that can be viewed as videos. Doctors and other medical professionals use these pictures to determine how to best care for a patient.

Careers in Ultrasound Technology

Professionals who are trained in ultrasound technology can work as ultrasound technicians. These techs, also known as sonographers, typically specialize in one of the six main branches of ultrasound technology: abdominal sonography, breast sonography, echocardiography, neurosonography, obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) sonography and vascular sonography. Each of these branches focuses on a different organ or set of organs.

Abdominal sonographers generate images of organs in the abdomen. Breast sonographers conduct tests like mammograms to capture images of breast tissue. Technicians who specialize in echocardiography take sonograms of the heart, while neurosonography technicians take sonograms of the brain. Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers capture images of reproductive organs and help pregnant mothers track fetus growth and development. Vascular technicians use ultrasound technology to observe blood pressure, circulation, blood flow and oxygen saturation.

Most sonographers and ultrasound technicians work in hospitals, physician's offices and diagnostic labs. Jobs are also available for experienced professionals in education, administration and sales.

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