What is a Sonographer?
Sonographers are qualified healthcare professionals who use high frequency sound waves to produce diagnostic scans, videos and 3D volumes of anatomy which aid doctors in diagnosing and treating illness and injury.
They hold a postgraduate qualification in Ultrasound which in New Zealand may be undertaken through the Australasian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM), gaining the Diploma of Medical Ultrasound (DMU) or UNITEC.
These qualifications require two years full-time equivalent ultrasound experience and are predominantly undertaken by qualified MRTS but may be undertaken by other health professionals.
They must be registered with the MRTB (Medical Radiation Technologist Board) and hold a current practicing certificate which requires continual professional development to an internationally recognised standard.
Ultrasound is used to image soft-tissue, muscles and blood vessels and has wide applications, including obstetrics, abdominal, gynaecological, musculoskeletal, vascular, paediatric and cardiac.
Sonographers require an excellent understanding of physics, cross-sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and need effective communication skills.
They must also to be able to view, analyse and modify the scan to optimise the information produced.
They have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process and often interpretation and diagnosis is a collaboration between the Sonographer and Radiologist, as ultrasound is a real-time process and very operator dependent.