Is this reasonable

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meatheadssrs in sparta, Illinois

72 months ago

My wife is an ultrasound tech with 5 years experience,professional registration, and has a BS in radiologic technology. She works at at our local hospital with normally one other ultrasound tech but the other one quit so now she is the only tech. She is normally on call every other week but right now she is on-call until they hire and train a new tech. The problem is that she is paid a flat salary of about 54k per year, but she is not paid for any overtime, call backs, or even to be on call. Let me add that after threatening to not take the extra call for the vacancy, the hospital did agree to pay her for standard call pay plus three hours every other week for call backs. She does echocardiograms, vascular, OB/Gyn, abdominal, breast, and X-ray, and averages 25-30 exams per day by working through breaks and all but 15 min. of her lunch break. The hospital says that overtime and call pay is factored into her salary, but it seems as though she is being taken advantage of. Please reply with facts and opinions concerning this matter. Thanks to all that post a reply...

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lys in Albany, New York

72 months ago

Oh ABSOLUTELY she is being taken advantage of!!! To not get beeper pay and do all that work is insane! We get paid for 3 hours each time we get called in. She can do so much they are getting away with murder with not paying her extra. They should be kissing her feet being the only tech there. If she walks what are they going to do?
How did she accomplish all those registries in only 5 years??

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meatheadssrs in Illinois

72 months ago

lys in Albany, New York said: Oh ABSOLUTELY she is being taken advantage of!!! To not get beeper pay and do all that work is insane! We get paid for 3 hours each time we get called in. She can do so much they are getting away with murder with not paying her extra. They should be kissing her feet being the only tech there. If she walks what are they going to do?
How did she accomplish all those registries in only 5 years??

She is only RTR registered, but is REDMS due to attending an accredited university. She also attended an Owen Brown workshop for Echo in Atlanta. She is getting ready to take her exams to become RDMS registered. By the way, the hospital made her sign a three year work agreement to cover the cost of program, flight, motel etc. She did not ask to attend the program, she was required. We are in a rural area (1 hour SE of St.louis Mo.) so her alternative would be to drive 40 min to 1 hour each way to work rather than the 5 min she currently drives. Also, my interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act is that Ultrasound Techs are under non-exempt OT staus. Meaning they are entitled to OT pay.

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lys in Albany, New York

72 months ago

Im a little confused by your message. What does RTR and REDMS mean?
How many years left does she have on her contract?

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meatheadssrs in Illinois

72 months ago

lys in Albany, New York said: Im a little confused by your message. What does RTR and REDMS mean?
How many years left does she have on her contract?

She is only registered in X-Ray but she is ultrasound registry eligible. The letters RTR may not be correct. The program she attended was through Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, the first couple of years are dedicated to x-ray and the remainder is focused on the students chosen specialty. The end result is X-ray registered and RDMS eligible. Sorry for the confusion. We wish she was paid 3 hours for each call back, because she would be paid for 18 hours of overtime this week. Thanks for the reply.....

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lys in Albany, New York

72 months ago

Youre welcome. Her program was interesting!

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Annover in Tulsa, Oklahoma

72 months ago

Pay aside, 25-30 exams a day is ridiculous! The "average" is 1 per hour, although in reality we do more than that, but she is still way overworked.For the range of exams that she is proficient at, if was registered, 54K is a good 10k under what she should get, and that is before call and overtime.Even registry- eligible is biggie ,her employer should recognize that and , if they were smart- pay for her ARDMS exams and up her salary. If not, she needs to take her exams and give her notice.

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meatheadssrs in Illinois

72 months ago

Annover in Tulsa, Oklahoma said: Pay aside, 25-30 exams a day is ridiculous! The "average" is 1 per hour, although in reality we do more than that, but she is still way overworked.For the range of exams that she is proficient at, if was registered, 54K is a good 10k under what she should get, and that is before call and overtime.Even registry- eligible is biggie ,her employer should recognize that and , if they were smart- pay for her ARDMS exams and up her salary. If not, she needs to take her exams and give her notice.

Thanks for the reply! Have you ever heard of UTs being on a salary only basis?

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Annover in Tulsa, Oklahoma

72 months ago

meatheadssrs in Illinois said: Thanks for the reply! Have you ever heard of UTs being on a salary only basis?

I am salary, however I have 20+ yrs experience and work in a physicians office; no holidays or call. Not the the typical set up- a gravy job...but hey- I did "my time' taking call, etc.
Good Luck!

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12yr Tech in Fayetteville, Arkansas

71 months ago

First of all, there is no way in he-- your wife is doing a good job and showing doctors what they need to see if she is doing even 15 per day! She must be putting out some crap work....therefore her salary is such. If she were a good tech, she would be able to stand up for herself and not take the abuse. Her employer will thank her for standing up to them. Especially if a law suit comes up for her crappy study. Save the house and such by getting a good liability coverage insurance!!

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jm in Sevierville, Tennessee

71 months ago

12yr Tech in Fayetteville, Arkansas said: First of all, there is no way in he-- your wife is doing a good job and showing doctors what they need to see if she is doing even 15 per day! She must be putting out some crap work....therefore her salary is such. If she were a good tech, she would be able to stand up for herself and not take the abuse. Her employer will thank her for standing up to them. Especially if a law suit comes up for her crappy study. Save the house and such by getting a good liability coverage insurance!!
My thoughts exactly. That is an impossible amount to scan, unless she has 3 machines and assistants who bring her patients screen them and have them on the table ready to scan. Even with that she MUST write up her on exams!!!!!!!!! And any discussions with the RAD

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meatheadssrs in Illinois

71 months ago

jm in Sevierville, Tennessee said: My thoughts exactly. That is an impossible amount to scan, unless she has 3 machines and assistants who bring her patients screen them and have them on the table ready to scan. Even with that she MUST write up her on exams!!!!!!!!! And any discussions with the RAD

First off, to 12yr tech, to assume that my wife "puts out crap work" is jumping to an uneducated conclusion. She is very highly regarded for her quality of work and professionalism. Notice I wrote that she does 25-30 exams per day, not 25-30 patients per day! Also, notice that I did not mention the amount of hours she works each day, which is normally 12+. So, to degrade someone without knowing the person or all of the facts really shows your errogance. She works for a hospital that is more concerned with the all mighty dollar that they are quality health care. They view my wife pulling the whole ultrasound patient load as a way to make more money. She is a well-educated and competent tech that is simply being taken advantage of. If we go to the department of labor to recoup unpaid OT, she is afraid of retaliation from the hospital and being labelled as a troublemaker at other hospitals. How she deals with this issue could be a career altering decision. I am requesting thoughts on how other techs would deal with this situation. I am not requesting additional insults. Thanks to all that reply in a helpful and professional manner. For all others, please keep your derogatory remarks to yourself!

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Lukioni in Lynwood, California

71 months ago

That comment was uncalled for and just RUDE!! I have been a tech for over 8 years now and If your saying there is no way, to scan 15+ patients a day you must be very slow!!! I have been working in a hospital for 5 years and know the machine very well. Scanning the patient doing the paperwork and pac system takes only 30 min. (if you know what your doing). So in a 12hour shift you can accomplish more than 15 patients. I work with about 7 other techs some which have 20+ experience and ARDMS, they can all scan 15+ patients a day. And we have not yet missed an abnormality. And just because she doesn't stand up for herself doesn't mean shes not good at what she does, she obviously is just not errogant and rude(like some people). But I do think she should speak up. Im sure working those long hours is really taking a toll on her arm and shoulder as well as your family. Is her hospital Union? As far as her pay, I know every state has a different scale, but in California she should be making AT LEAST 70k+ for those hours.

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Ultra Dawn in Joliet, Illinois

66 months ago

I have been an ultrasound Technician for 6 years and I have never even heard of a salary at a hospital. I work in a hospital and I get paid time and 1/2 for 2 hours every time I get called in. Also I get paid $3 and hour for holding the pager. I am ARDMS certified in both Abdomen and OB/GYN. I just interviewed for a clinic job today and they told me that the starting pay for just the clinic would be $65,000! And with experience, they will offer more. Even at the hospital I work at, we get overtime. I feel so bad for your wife! She should start looking around for something better! She is definitely being used! With her experience she would be making over $65,ooo for sure!

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Student, Fayetteville, AR

65 months ago

Hello,
I stumbled across this discussion board and it led me to ask some questions of my own. I am currently in school trying to get into a local Rad Tech program, knowing that I will want to end up as an Ultrasound Tech. My question is what is the advantage of going through the Radiology program versus going straight into an Ultrasound Program? Is there more money to be made by the extra schooling?

I know this is a little off the subject of the gentles topic, but none of the advisers at the college I am at right now can answer these questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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UltraMom in Joliet, Illinois

65 months ago

Well I had to go through the Rad. Tech. program as a prerequisite for the Ultrasound program. But when I have been going on interviews lately, they have all been commenting that it is impressive that I went through both programs. I am sure you can go to an ultrasound school without going into the rad. tech. program, but make sure it is accredited. Where I work now, I have seen resumes get passed up just because the person did not go to a reputable school. So any extra education will always be a plus! It is a tough job market now, so any edge you can get on someone else will help! Good luck!

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Student, Fayetteville, AR

65 months ago

Thank you for your response, how long did you go to school for? What is your job and the duties you perform like?

Thanks again for your solid advise!

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husband of tech in Lafayette, Indiana

55 months ago

Meatheadssrs, Your wife is being horribly taken advantage of, but if she allows it then it will continue. Some hospitals are simply bullies. I think many in the field get underpaid because they're nervous to negotiate. I did the negotiating for my wife because it was all via email. To compare with your wife, mine takes call about once per week and every 5th weekend. She's got her RT from radiography, RDMS, RDCS and RVT with 8 years experience now, but most importantly she is a very solid tech with compliments and support backing from the doctors she works with for her skill. Those things, and what competitor hospitals were paying, previous hospitals she's worked at and because US is in high demand she's now basing almost $35/hr and with call was between $104k-$114k for the last three years running. She is being low balled for carrying the beeper at $2.50/hr for covering the two hospitals in the network (standard seems to be about $4/hr), but she gets automatic 2 hours at time and a half each time she has to drive back there. She's getting so much per year because this particular hospital is very wasteful and dumb about what they call her in for. Other hospitals she worked at were much more careful and only called her in for more serious problems. Here they'll call her in for routine junk that should honestly be scheduled during normal hours, but because they do it's another call back. My wife is in the higher end of the spectrum, but it's because she's very good, she went to an accredited school, she's registered in everything, and we negotiated strongly. Several things will help. Anything you can do that makes you not dependent on any one employer greatly helps negotiating. If you are tied down and stuck to one area and the hospital knows it, then they know they got you under their thumb (kids in school, your job not relocateable, sick parents in area, or any reason you won't leave the area). If there's no competitor hospitals, clinics, imaging...

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husband of tech in Lafayette, Indiana

55 months ago

imaging centers, doctors offices she can work at and she's not willing to leave the area and her employer knows it they've got the upper hand. If she's the only tech carrying all the work load then she's got the strong advantage. Look at it this way: She represents 100% of their ultrasound department. If they lose her they are in serious trouble. They will never be able to hire a good quality sonographer to replace your wife at the same rate. If they need to hire a locum tenens temp tech to fill the spot even for a short time they'll be paying a whole lot more.

Get her to join SDMS and they have a salary survey report (latest is 2008). I'd take that info along with any other job opportunities she's willing to consider and some solid research about what she's worth at her experience and registry level and tell them it's time to re-negotiate her employment or you walk. Ultrasound is in pretty high demand (otherwise that hospital would be filling their vacancies), so don't view the hospital as the big boss holding all the cards. My wife and I view it this way. She has a skill that she's selling kind of like being a contractor, or like a commoditty. If someone doesn't pay her what she's "charging" (worth) then she'll move on. Is your wife willing to stand up and ask to be paid what her skill is worth? Consider this. If the hospital could get away with paying your wife $10k/yr for the same work they'd do it wouldn't they. It's their job to hire the best talent they can at the lowest price they can possibly get. The lower the better they look. They're not going to offer more because they're nice. That's not their job...

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RVS in Sevierville, Tennessee

55 months ago

I have done this for 15 years now and she is underpaid if she is doing those types of exams and that many per day. She is killing herself not to mention that she is setting herself up for potential musculoskeletal injuries from over-doing it. You just cannot focus on what is necessary to perform accurate tests and to do all of the necessary paperwork involved for each patient with such a workload. You will put off paperwork and by the time you complete it you most likely will forget to mention something important that a radiolgist needs to know.
She should be paid at least $2-$3 per hour just to carry a beeper when she is on-call and be paid at least time and a half x two hours minimum each time she is called in for an after hours exam.
"Husband of tech"------most hospitals call techs in for absolutely stupid and un-necessary exams. If most hospitals only did the exams that needed to be done then we would all be severely over-staffed! I agree with you and understand. You can set up all of the proper on-call protocols you want and say that our techs are only going to get called in for this, this, and this. But when it comes down to it if a physician wants a test done then what do you think is going to happen? Who will win?-----the department manager and techs or the physicians? Performing tests that do not need to be done is the most frustrating thing in this field. When I sit down and talk with my patients before the exam about their symptoms I can tell you with probably a 99% accuracy rating if the ultrasound will reveal anything or not that is related to their symptoms. It is very frustrating.
Hospitals, like most businesses, will bully employees. In many cases they operate under the guise of "we are concerned about patient care and we treat everyone as if they were our own family members" but as employees we know that is not true and that the bottom line is "money" and patient care comes somewhere else down the list.

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husband of tech in Lafayette, Indiana

55 months ago

(sorry about the 3 posts, but it's limiting me.)

The hospital is collecting a lot more from insurance and medicare than they're paying your wife. There's a reading fee that goes to the doctor and then there's a tech/equipment fee in the $175-$250 range per patient scanned. The hospital can afford to compensate her fairly. They're not because she's allowing it. Of course there is a breaking point. If she demands grossly too much they'll replace her, but if she's asking for what is fair market value they'll want to talk before hiring someone new. They're in a pickle and hiring and training up someone new also costs a lot.

From what I've seen the median salary is $61k including call and overtime, but that's skewed low because it includes techs who take no call which is about 62%. So it's safe to say sonographers taking call are averaging a little higher. That's average which may be close to your wife's level for education, experience and if she doesn't have her RDMS or RDCS yet. BUT given her hours and amount of call I'd expect her to be making quite a bit more. The standard I've seen is $4/hour to carry the beeper when on call. Some places will put in a few dollars for "trip pay" to cover gas and wear and tear on the vehicle. Nearly every place pays an automatic 2 hours per call back at time and a half (plus night differentials after a certain time, weekend differentials and weekend-night differential combo).

It's all about mindset and attitude when negotiating. Be polite, but firm. Know what you're worth. Know that they don't care about mortgage, expenses or kids daycare, but they do care about how you're making them money and increasing value. That's easy if she's 100% of their workforce in that department. The hardest part in my opinion is honestly be willing to walk away, just like negotiating a new car. If they know you're stuck in that town with that job no matter what then they know they own you. All of my...

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husband of tech in Lafayette, Indiana

55 months ago

(lol, 4 posts now)

All of my wifes previous employers were nice and fair, but her current one has the attitude that they're in control over a prison camp or something. It's the first hospital she's worked at that has been an outright bully to almost all of it's employees. They dictate pay and make sweeping changes to pay and vacation because they know they're the only gig in town and most people will take the abuse. However my wife and I made it clear from the outset that we don't work like that. We're not tied down and we'll leave if they abuse her. I just looked up ultrasound jobs and for someone with an accredited schooling, registries and experience there's hundreds of jobs across the country if you're willing to move (or if you're currenty employer thinks you are willing to move). I've rambled enough. You have more power in this situation than you might think.

----To RVS---- I agree. If the physician really wants the test they will get it. I'm a retired physician and unfortunately I've seen too many wasteful orders go through. A gallbladder on a patient that had a cholecystectomy 2 years before. A pelvic for ectopic on a patient who had no uterus and ovaries b/c previous TAH/BSO. Sometimes it's the ER physician, often times it's the PA or NP. In any case it's borderline malpractice to not even ask the question before ordering the test. So the way our previous hospital handled it was to require the radiologist on call to approve the study before calling in the tech. This hospital uses nighthawk so they have no local radiologist on call to do that. Unfortunately admin doesn't have the education to recognize the waste. DVT for a stubbed toe on a healthy fit 22y/o, no homen's sign, no pain. Seriously!?! If I was working that ER I'd fire the ordering physician.

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RVS in Sevierville, Tennessee

55 months ago

Exactly! They order a transvaginal to rule-out an ectopic before they even confirm pregnancy with an HCG, urine or serum pregnancy test. I have done many gallbladder ultrasounds on patients who have had a cholecystectomy. I know, I know choledocolithiasis......but..........
I have performed 7 gallbladder ultrasounds on the same patient in the ER when their very first ultrasound showed gallstones and a surgeon has already told them that their gallbaladder has to come out but they do not have money for surgery and no insurance so each time they have pain they come to the ER for some sort of pain management. We already know their diagnosis but some ER physicians will order a gallbladder ultrasound on that same previously diagnosed patient even if they come in the ER three times in one week!!!
I don't even want to get started on reasons to perform DVT studies! I've seen and heard it all and have performed thousands upon thousands of venous dopplers in my career. I would say that probably 2% of those were positive for DVT. If the patients has bi-lateral swelling you can bet your life it isn't going to be DVT.
PA's and ARNP's are ven worse with their ordering skills than most ER physicians. I understand the legal reasoning and logic they use to justify all of this but I cannot buy into it. Cat Scans are another big over-used tool and I am afraid that abuse is going to see government regulations for sure in the next 5 years due to the recent data that has been revealed concerning the over-radiation of patients.

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drscott1970 in Round Rock, Texas

55 months ago

I do 25 plus exams a day as a vascular technologist. Have done so for 15 years.

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OLGA in Los Angeles, California

53 months ago

What is an average number of pations per day?For 8 hours?For 9 hours?For all kind of tests,including vascular and hysterosonograms?Usually,I have up to 20 for 9 hours day.20 years of expirience and being real fast still make me feel dead by the end of the day.Also,do I have to stay overhours if DVT pations were sent with request for stat reading .My doctors trust my scanning and we have wonderfull relationship,but ...I have decided to leave and take 2-3days per week .My dicision is final but may I am wrong.Thank you in advance.Olga

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Bazilia in Chantilly, Virginia

49 months ago

Hey guys, I am looking to hire a PRN OB tech and really flexible based on when she can work. What is a good pay to give per scan/exam? she will Mainly be doing level 2 20 week diagnostic scans and some possible NT scan

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jen in Cumming, Georgia

20 months ago

Bazilia in Chantilly, Virginia said: Hey guys, I am looking to hire a PRN OB tech and really flexible based on when she can work. What is a good pay to give per scan/exam? she will Mainly be doing level 2 20 week diagnostic scans and some possible NT scan

It is $35-40 per patient in GA (OB/GYN)

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