Gynecological sonographers are sonographers who have completed the necessary education, plus additional on-the-job training in the gynecological field. They use sonography equipment to obtain images of the female reproductive system for physicians, interact with patients, and maintain equipment and records. There is optional certification for workers in this field.
Gynecological sonogram technicians provide images to physicians of the female reproductive system. Images can include the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and a developing fetus if the patient is pregnant. Many are trained as diagnostic sonographers first and then specialize in gynecological sonography on the job. A gynecological sonogram technician can obtain a 2-year or 4-year degree.
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in diagnostic and gynecological sonography|
|Other Requirements||Registration with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||26% for all Diagnostic medical sonographers (Much faster than average)*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$70,880*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (all diagnostic medical sonographers)
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Education Requirements for Gynecological Sonography Technicians
Generally, gynecological sonography technicians train as diagnostic medical monographers due to the fact that there are few training programs devoted exclusively to gynecological sonography. After being trained in diagnostic medical sonography, sonographers typically receive specialized training in gynecological sonography while on the job. However, most schools offer obstetrics/gynecological classes in their diagnostic medical sonography programs.
Training options include both 2-year and 4-year programs that result in an associate's and bachelor's degree, respectively. Coursework typically consists of classes in anatomy, physiology, physics, patient care and medical ethics. Most 2-year and 4-year programs consist of classroom coursework and clinical training. Associate degree program graduates are eligible for entry-level work in sonography, while graduates with a bachelor's degree are eligible for professional registration, which may result in higher paying positions and increased job responsibilities.
Hospitals and vocational schools offer programs designed for sonography technicians who are already in the field and wish to specialize. Online programs are also available for technicians looking for continuing education opportunities.
Gynecologic Sonography Coursework
Advanced obstetrics, genetics and path, gynecologic sonography and sonography applications in obstetrics are classes typically offered as part of a Bachelor of Science program in diagnostic medical sonography. A typical obstetrical/gynecological class covers sonography terms, reference planes and the physiology of the woman's pelvis in both the non-impregnated and impregnated states. The methodology of recording and identifying sonography images is also discussed. Abnormalities and deviations of the impregnated uterus as their images appear on a sonogram are covered as well.
Professional Credentials for Gynecological Sonography Technicians
While licensing is not usually required for sonography technicians, employers may prefer technicians who have received professional registration and accreditation. In order to be registered, a test must be taken after completing educational, training and employment requirements. The exam consists of a physics section and an instrumentation section in a sonography specialty, such as OB/GYN. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography administers the registration test and issues the professional credential.
Job Duties of a Gynecological Sonography Technician
Gynecological sonography technicians conduct diagnostic imaging procedures of the female reproductive system. Images may include the ovaries, the uterus and the fallopian tubes. They also take pictures of the developing fetus during pregnancy to gauge the fetus' growth and developmental progress.
Duties can include preparing patients for sonogram procedures, determining the proper equipment to use and positioning the patient during the procedure. They examine the images during and after the procedure to determine which ones best fit the physician's requirements. Technicians also maintain patient records and keep equipment in working order.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As of May 2015, diagnostic medical sonographers in general earned an average annual salary of $70,880, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That same agency projected much faster than average employment growth of 26% from 2014-2024 for these professionals.
Gynecological sonography technicians can complete 2- or 4-year degree programs that include courses on female anatomy, sonography technology, sonography images, gynecological conditions, positioning of the patient, and normal and abnormal images. Some employers may prefer certified candidates, although it is not required to work as a gynecological sonographer.