Not only is it Ultrasound Awareness Month; the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) named 2013 the Year of Ultrasound.
“This very timely campaign supports the mission of Ultrasound First, an endeavor developed by the AIUM, devoted to education and increasing awareness of the effectiveness of ultrasound in enhancing patient care,” states an AIUM press release from January 10, 2013.
The Ultrasound First initiative was launched last year, to promote the use and raise awareness of the benefits of sonography. “For a growing number of clinical conditions, ultrasound has been shown to be equally effective in its diagnostic capability, with a distinct advantage in safety and cost over computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging,” states an AIUM press release from March 22, 2012. “Despite this advantage, evidence suggests that ultrasound is vastly underutilized. Ultrasound First focuses on educating health care workers, medical educators, insurers, and patients of the benefits of ultrasound in medical care.”
The sonography profession has considerably expanded over the last two decades, states the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). Initiatives such as the AIUM’s (with the insight that ultrasound can be employed in even more medical situations) strongly suggests that the profession will continue to significantly grow.
Consider these Facts & Figures:
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to increase by 44% between 2010 and 2020. This is “much faster than average” since the average for all occupations is a job outlook of 14.3%.
Sources: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm ; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/About/Occupational-Information-Included-in-the-OOH.htm
- The BLS adds that diagnostic medical sonographers are among its list of 20 “fastest growing occupations” in the United States. (They rank #11).
- An SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) press release from August 23, 2007 states, “SDMS has experienced unparalleled growth over the last eight years having expanded its membership from the 9,000 range in 2000 to over 20,000 in 2007.” And as of July 24, 2013, SDMS has more than 27,000 members.
- More than 80,000 individuals have been certified through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) which grants the RDMS®, RDCS®, RVT®, RPVI® and RMSK™ sonographer credentials. (Note that this number naturally does not count the number of sonographers/ultrasound technicians who have been certified through the ARRT, CCI and other organizations.)
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer ranked #22 among U.S. News’ 100 Best Jobs of 2013 (and #12 among its Best Healthcare Jobs). “U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 are the occupations that offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security,” the states U.S. News article.
As ultrasound is becoming the imaging modality of choice (when appropriate) due to its safe, valuable and cost-effective benefits, as advancements in sonography technology and research continue, and as the population ages, the demand for sonographers/ultrasound technicians remains promising and strong.