WHAT IS TRAVEL SONOGRAPHY?
Travel sonography is a dynamic field that allows for great growth. With the ability to specialize in various areas such as cardiac, musculoskeletal, vascular, and breast sonography, travel sonography provides more on-the-job learning opportunities, compared to the average sonographer in a permanent position. The job of a traveling sonographer is to assist physicians and other health professionals in diagnosing illness by operating ultrasound equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to record images of internal organs. It is important for a traveling sonographer to have a helping mindset because most of the time, you will be assigned to a facility that is short-staffed.
There are hundreds of travel sonography jobs across the United States. Travel sonographers can work in hospitals, physician offices, diagnostic imaging centers, and clinics. As a travel sonographer, you have the opportunity to explore various parts of the country while simultaneously sharpening your skills. You will also gain experience in various specialties in medicine and various settings. Lastly, the job offers competitive pay and benefits.
HOW TO START A CAREER IN TRAVEL SONOGRAPHY?
If you are thinking of becoming a travel sonographer, there are a few things you can do.
- You must have at least one year of postgraduate experience.
- Register through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). More certifications in the field will allow for more opportunities to work.
- Be flexible. If you are open to working in different areas and facilities, you are likely to find more work. Travel sonographers usually get a new assignment every 3 months, therefore the ability to adapt easily is super important as well.
Having references also helps! If you are able to get your supervisor or director to serve as a reference, it can set you apart from other candidates.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A CAREER AS A TRAVEL SONOGRAPHER?
- FLEXIBILITY – As a travel sonographer you have the opportunity to determine your work environment. You can choose to spend the winter months in the hot sun, or you can spend them in the mountains and in the snow. Choose where you want to live and get paid while doing so. Travel sonographers are also able to choose long term or short-term assignments. They can take time off when they want to.
- EXPANSION OF SKILLS – Travel sonography forces you to improve your clinical skills, acquire knowledge, and adapt to new ways of scanning. Every hospital is different and has different protocols/methods of approaching the job. As you travel within the country, you will be introduced to various techniques pertaining to sonography. Furthermore, travel sonographers are assigned to short-staffed departments within the country. This means that as you expand your skills, your skills will also be appreciated and valued by the hospital you are assisting.
- GREAT PAY/BENEFITS – Salary varies based on facility, location, experience, and qualifications but according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) a travel sonographer’s salary reflects the salary range of a permanent ultrasound technician. However, travel sonographers receive an hourly wage through their placement company. Many placement agents also cover the cost of lodging and travel expenses, allowing you to save a large chunk of your check and allocate the funds elsewhere. In the next decade, the BLS foresees the demand for travel sonographers increasing by 23 percent.
Will you be amongst the 23 percent? Do you have what it takes to become a travel sonographer? We encourage you to talk with your Career Services team about your career goals and how to meet them. They’re here to help you achieve your goals through job placement assistance, mock interviews, resume building and editing, and career advice.
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