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Mr Peter Coombs
Prof Stacy Goergen
Date last modified: October 28, 2015
A sonographer is a health professional who uses ultrasound to produce images of your body in order to diagnose health problems.
A sonographer performs ultrasound examinations that use sound waves transmitted into the body through a hand-held device called a transducer. The sonographer is trained to produce images that will allow a medical diagnosis to be made.
The sonographer uses clinical, practical and interpretive skills to obtain high quality ultrasound images. A sonographer works closely with a radiologist to derive the most accurate diagnosis for a patient. The radiologist may need to attend the patient to clarify clinical findings or talk to the patient about their clinical symptoms in order to gain a full understanding of the medical significance of the ultrasound findings. It is the radiologist who is responsible for making the written report about the ultrasound examination.
A sonographer is ideally a person who enjoys clinical contact with patients. They will enjoy challenges and problem-solving, have some affinity with technology and see ongoing learning as an important part of their professional development.
When people finish their degree in Medical Imaging they will begin working in a Diagnostic Imaging or Radiology Department of a hospital or in a private radiology practice. A fully qualified sonographer has completed a graduate diploma in ultrasound. Radiographers may be given the opportunity to train as a sonographer but will need to have:
Many Australian universities offer graduate diplomas in medical ultrasound. These include:
The Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) offers a professionally based qualification called the Diploma of Medical Ultrasound (DMU), which takes two years to complete.
Sonographers are perceived as successful, allied health professionals who are capable of taking on roles in:
In recent times, sonographers have also begun to create their own businesses, in partnership with other imaging professionals such as radiologists and medical imaging technologists. Sonographers are always in demand.