- A specialist healthcare role using ultrasound technology to help diagnose diseases
- You'll need excellent science skills, good observational skills, and good people skills
- New routes into this career are opening up with the development of degree apprenticeships
As a sonographer, you'll use specialist ultrasound equipment to see images of the inside of your patients' bodies and use this to help with the diagnoses of diseases or other health related issues.
Most sonographers will move into this specialist role after training in a healthcare field, although there are new direct routes to this kind of role opening up.
- Perform ultrasound examinations and as you gain experience you may then be involved in interpreting the results and diagnosing patients
- Build up the technical skills to understand the equipment you are using, the health sciences skills to understand what the ultrasound is revealing, and patient care skills to build up trust with patients and communicate with them effectively about their health.
You'll normally work in a hospital or a clinic and you'll often work as part of a team of health professionals involved in diagnostic medicine. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding. You may need to wear a uniform.
This role would be ideal for someone with analytical and observational skills, ability in science, particularly biology, anatomy, physiology and physics, the ability to communicate appropriately with patients who may be very ill, and IT skills to use computerised equipment.
You'll need to do an approved degree or postgraduate qualification, which allows you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. You'll need registration to work. You can find out about approved degrees from the Society of Radiographers website which also has further detailed information about career paths.
If you're a health professional or a graduate with a relevant first degree, you may be able to take a fast-track postgraduate qualification over 2 years.
You may also be able to do a degree apprenticeship - this is a new route which is just opening up for those who want to earn and learn at the same time.
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.
There are opportunities to move into specialist sonography areas like obstetrics and gynaecology, vascular or cancer services. You could work with specific patient groups such as children, young people or pregnant women.
With experience, there are opportunities to go into teaching sonography or to do clinical research.