$39.27 to $52.73 per hour
Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
Diagnostic medical sonography diploma
Diagnostic sonographers use high frequency sound waves to produce quality diagnostic images for a variety of ultrasound procedures. Ultrasound technology safely and non-intrusively examines many parts of the body including organs in the abdomen, breast, uterus and ovaries, prostate gland, heart and blood vessels. Diagnostic sonographers use their independent judgement and expertise to adapt and record the procedure as required. They write a preliminary interpretation of the procedure findings to the reporting physician, who in turn speaks with the patient.
Diagnostic sonographers prepare patients for ultrasound examinations by explaining the procedure, answering questions and obtaining a patient history. They are responsible for ensuring the ultrasound area is functional, sanitized and well stocked with needed supplies for the wide variety of examinations performed. Diagnostic sonographers may be required to help during interventional procedures such as tissue and organ biopsies.
In addition, diagnostic sonographers may provide leadership and work guidance to fellow diagnostic imaging staff, sonography students and other health care professionals.
Diagnostic sonographers work mostly at hospitals and health centres and directly with patients. They must be compassionate and able to communicate effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill. Although they often work alone with patients, diagnostic sonographers liaise with radiologists and work alongside other technologists, physicians and nurses to provide the best care to patients.
Diagnostic sonographers may work full-time or part-time hours or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening and weekend shifts with on-call duty at some facilities.
Diagnostic sonographers sit and stand for long periods of time. They are regularly required to perform repetitive hand and wrist motions during ultrasound procedures. Sometimes, diagnostic sonographers need to lift patients, move heavy equipment and may be exposed to bio-hazardous materials during the course of their work. At times, they may work in challenging and stressful circumstances, such as in an emergency situation.