Hate Being A Sonographer

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Comments (27)

Applegirl89 in Florida

34 months ago

I am a newly employed tech and absolutely hate it. The responsibility is overwhelming for me and I have so much anxiety every time I have to go into work. I am only per diem and even the low amount of hours I get has peoved to be too much. Does anyone know of a related career that maybe is a little more predictable and structured?

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Roger in Oakland, California

33 months ago

sorry to hear that. every lab I have been to is different. But I took my opportunities serious, so I dont let small things bug me. Being in the medical field, I feel nothing is predictable.

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Mary in Zanesville, Ohio

33 months ago

I absolutely HATE my job too. I am working about 100 hours a week, on call every other night and getting no sleep those nights because I am being called in all of the time, and I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. I am trying (in the very few free hours I have) to find a job outside of the healthcare field, which is what I would suggest for you too. The healthcare field is anything but predictable!

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sonopain in Mississauga, Ontario

11 months ago

Applegirl89 in Florida said: I am a newly employed tech and absolutely hate it. The responsibility is overwhelming for me and I have so much anxiety every time I have to go into work. I am only per diem and even the low amount of hours I get has peoved to be too much. Does anyone know of a related career that maybe is a little more predictable and structured?

I am a new grad as well...hate my job with a passion. I also work part time ( 3 days a week) but I find myself dreading work so much on the days I have off that I can't even enjoy my free time. I'm also currently trying to pass my board exams as well so my free time is pure crap. I saw you posted this 22 months ago...just wondering what you ended up doing. I feel like if it doesn't get any easier with time I should quit sooner rather than later. I also don't know what other kinds of jobs I could do with a degree in ultrasound.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

You went into this. Believed what the schools told you.

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SadSonographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico

11 months ago

There isn't really anything you can do with a sonography degree other than sonography. You could go back to school for CT or x-ray. It might give you a leg up to go back for nursing. But if you are scared of the responsibility... Maybe go into sales or something, or be a medical office person. Something that doesn't involve patient care, since anything like that is going to involve great responsibility.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

SadSonographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: There isn't really anything you can do with a sonography degree other than sonography. You could go back to school for CT or x-ray. It might give you a leg up to go back for nursing. But if you are scared of the responsibility... Maybe go into sales or something, or be a medical office person. Something that doesn't involve patient care, since anything like that is going to involve great responsibility.

All modalities are saturated.
Sales...you need a track record, or if you know someone to get in.
It's not the job responsibility. It's the workload and being forced to work faster and faster, less exam time, more paperwork to do, crappy machines, more and more to do in the same time.
Just not valued for what we do or our knowledge.

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Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

GE, Phillips, Toshiba, etc. hire skilled salesmen to sell their machines, not ultrasound techs. U/S techs are hired to demonstrate and provide info on the machines; but those jobs are few and far between. A big problem that happened with the recession is that techs are too scared to quit a bad job and try and find better positions, with good reason. I've worked in crazy bad hospitals, and fair ones. Not every hospital and work environment is the same. If you've invested this much time and money and have a job in ultrasound but hate it, I'd try at the very least to get a job at a different hospital. Workload, paperwork, and machines can vary depending on the hospital you are in.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

Yes, sales for expensive equipment like ultrasound machines, requires demonstrated sales track records.

There just aren't that many jobs in any modality to begin with. Look how many they hire in an outpatient facility or a hospital.

The field is so saturated. It is not what we were promised in school.

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Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

Yep, and I've never met a sales rep for ultrasound machines that had a history of being an ultrasound tech. Just curious because you sound like someone new to this work; how long have you been a sonographer? Do you currently have a job in ultrasound?

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

Worked for quite awhile in this.
I do.
What about you?

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

Not a lot of hours anymore though...

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Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

Around 15 years.
I do too.
Lack of hours is bad news for all of us. I've seen many hospitals that don't mind techs having really busy days and then sending people home when work is slow. It's strange to me when techs don't mind being sent home early. Back when I got into this line of work, my school didn't promise me anything. Me and my fellow students didn't have any idea of job availability and assumed there would be a job available once we got out, and that wasn't a naïve assumption at the time. Times have changed. I hate that many students are paying $30k for no job, prn, or part-time and think that's a step up from whatever their current situation is. If that was even a remote possibility, I would've done anything else but ultrasound.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

I wonder about the hours thing too. There are women who rely on the husband so they just work more when they feel like it. The ones who have the schedule arranged so they can take the kids to band practice. I am so done with having to cover for those people.

Things have changed so much. I am sure you remember sign-on bonuses.

I have seen student literally work free. They think they are getting their foot in the door. I am just appalled by it, because it's lowering wages. Some places just get rid of the older or experienced techs and replace them with people out of school. But a lot of the schools don't have good clinicals for them. I am tired of the interviews where they say they want you to train someone who is right out of school for them. It's just using other people, and I know they aren't planning on keeping you if you do that for them.

I think it's their own fault at this point. There is enough evidence not to go into ultrasound or any other radiology modality.
They fall for any line the school gives them.
There is a lot of arrogance in this. Heard one say she will get a job, she isn't too worried about it, because she is "a hard worker". Well, we all are. But that doesn't create new positions.
Some of the students are right there, ready to take your job. If the place cares about quality, you're safe. But if they care more about the money, you're gone.

These students are going to find out that it won't be long before they are on the other side, and someone is vying for their job.

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Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

I agree. I might be naïve myself, but I truly believe there will always be a 40 hour a week job for me somewhere in this country just because I know I'm better and work harder than 90% of the techs out there. I look at this profession as any other occupation, supply and demand rules. But, there's still enough of a demand for experience. If a hospital were to hire a new grad over me to save a buck; that's their mistake. I've never heard of a hospital firing or letting an experienced tech leave in order to hire someone right out of school, unless the tech had a bad attitude and/or was a little crazy.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee said: I agree. I might be naïve myself, but I truly believe there will always be a 40 hour a week job for me somewhere in this country just because I know I'm better and work harder than 90% of the techs out there. I look at this profession as any other occupation, supply and demand rules. But, there's still enough of a demand for experience. If a hospital were to hire a new grad over me to save a buck; that's their mistake. I've never heard of a hospital firing or letting an experienced tech leave in order to hire someone right out of school, unless the tech had a bad attitude and/or was a little crazy.

That happens where I am all of the time.
The job market might be better where you are.
I had a friend call me years ago, said where she worked, they let go the top tier of people and the rads were freaking out.
It's happened to me twice.

I am finally where I really know what I am doing, and when I've played a hunch or gone with a gut feeling, I was right. I liked the idea of being able to do the best for someone.

I have been looking for work in other fields. I feel like I can't get a job because I am experienced.

Jobs here are trying to pay $15, 20 an hour. It's very insulting too.

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Forkn in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

That's a horrible situation. I've never looked for work in other fields just because I wouldn't know how to do anything else. I'd probably burn the fries cookin' at McDonalds! My wage has decreased post recession, but I'm a realist and don't believe in unions. I'm worth exactly what the hospital is willing to pay after negotiation and nothing more. If a job's only paying $15-20/hr with registries and experience, that's bad times and time to get outa that town or do something else.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

11 months ago

It's hard when you've worked hard and then you see the new grads get jobs simply because they are cheaper.

I remember having to get experience and prove myself.

As long as people will work for very low pay, that and the new grads vs the experienced techs will be an issue.
There are people who are more than willing to teach students, but when they lose their jobs, they find out how hard it is to get back into one.

I always thought if I did well, it would guarantee me a job. I know better now, and I know this is true for just about any field you are in.

If it weren't so expensive, it would be worth starting my own business. I don't mind working hard.

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sonoaus in Atlanta, Georgia

11 months ago

I totally agree. I dealt with some of the same things when I first started. My first position was at a hospital I was a student at. They trained me for three months and then put me on my real shift which was weekend coverage (8 hr shift + call the entire weekend). I also worked a few weekdays as well. The anxiety for me was terrible. I wasn't getting any sleep when I was on call. I often would dream about ultrasound. It was like it consumed my life. I even got chewed out by the head radiologist one morning during a call back (5:45 am). It sucked and he gave me this talk about if I want to keep my job...blah blah blah. Wages were horrible at 16 Bucks an hr but it gave me experience. To make a long story short I got about 9 months exp and quit. Yep, Put my notice in and quit. My next position was a contract position paying more than double that + mileage/hotel/travel. I really don't know how much longer I'll be in this field. The thing is I almost refuse to take a position or odd job that pays lower so until I decide to go back to school I guess I'm stuck in this line of work for right now. I'm considering PA school but If dealing with a supervising physician is the same as having to deal with these picky radiologist then I know I will not enjoy it.

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Elana in Kansas City, Missouri

8 months ago

These reasons on this forum is exactly why I started my own business, it is hard when you know what you are capable of doing and it seems others don't get it or it is so much red tape and politics to get more money or a promotion. Owning your own business is hard, but hey atleast I know the efforts of my hard work is appreciated when I look in the mirror. When i want a promotion I look at that lady in the mirror and she says Elana jus push a bit harder and you can even more tomorrow and make better money when ever you choose.
I take vacations when I Like too, I book Dr. Appointments without worrying about PTO. It is hard working for your self but so much worth it if that is what you choose to do- it is not a lifestyle meant for everyone but I can say my days are not as sad faced and my stress is not as hight- but it is high at time lol. I own a trucking company and it can get hard and difficult some days are like "Calgon Take Me Away" but matter what I can not turn back but move forward- In corporate America I worked as a trainer, so now I use those skills to help women and men get involved in the industry and offer trainings- so I still i have a piece of Corporate I love and adore, helping an training people. Yet my freedom is in tact. Good luck to all on here the conversations are great! elana.kangethe@sooverjoyed.com P.S if all else fells dreams are always found on the trailer of an 18 wheeler and a computer :-)

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

3 months ago

Well, it's been 6 years and I started traveling after resigning from my full time position. One thing I have learned that in this field there are two culprits to crappy work environment in this field: full time techs are becoming more insecure. Especially those that have been at a facility since Noah built the ark, and they don't have but one certifications.

The other culprit, administration: Period

The full time techs first:

As a traveler, I'm seeing this in almost every state I work. That one tech who's been at a hospital for 10 - 40 years, that will lie, cheat, control, manipulate, connive, cry, beg, borrow and steal to maintain their "status" or job in a facility.

I've encountered techs that:

Will go through the HIPPA trash to check on their fellow co-workers worksheets. (Isn't that a HIPPA violation?)

Will go to different depart. and bad mouth techs in order make themselves "look good".

All of the "crazy" techs seem to have the weekend shifts on lock-down, because no one wants to work the weekends anyway. So they don't have to worry about "competition"..

Those 40 year techs spending their "off time" going through the PACS system looking at other techs ultrasounds images - yes, I've seen them come in on their day off to do this.

And the ones that change the settings on the ultrasound machines, intentionally so that the person who comes in the next morning thinks they're going nutso.

Also techs that are hiding ultrasound equipment, i.e., transvag probes, probe covers, keys to the CIDEX cage, knobs from the machines. I'm not kidding.

Thus, we can't just say it's how the hospital treats their techs sometimes it's how techs treat each other.

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

3 months ago

As for admin, doctors and radiologists.. gawd..

They know the tech is up all night coming in doing OUT PATIENT exams on an ER basis. But they could care less until a patient complains that the tech was "rude".

Then we have the ER docs that learned how to spell "ectopic" and "torsion" when in 99.9% of the cases they know it's negative - but they don't want to make that call.

Then the rads. They get their sleep thanks to "Night Hawk".. but they won't think twice to send in the tech so they won't have to come in during the night.

The rads again. they don't think twice to talk down to the tech, but that same tech has to cover their butts. At all costs.

I do recall telling the director of an imaging dept. that the radiolgists have the same disdain for their techs like Don Sterling had for the LA Lakers...

She took umbrage, of course. Why? Because she obviously didn't have a clue about radiologist and tech relationships.

Then we have admin. I asked my interim director what he REALLY thought of his job. His reply: "I just had a kid, the benefits are great if you're in admin. and I don't give a crap what goes on here as long as I get my paycheck".

That's when I handed in my resignation letter, started traveling.. and haven't looked back.

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James Eroche RDMS, RVT in Houma, Louisiana

4 days ago

You know what folks....It all comes down to working conditions, period. What if we could work an 8 or 12 hour shift without call, and get the adequate sleep any human being is required in order to perform detailed oriented work, which ultrasound is. You see, hospital administration only see us as a means to and end. They, hospital administration, will never properly staff ultrasound until labor laws state so. The only way the laws will change is when the people representing us will actually represent us, instead of themselves, and skirting the issues. What I am talking about is the current Board of Directors on the S.D.M.S...Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. How many people on this board are actually in the trenches and are presently taking call? Let's investigate this, and get the answers out to the working people who are tired of being abused by unrealistic work loads and being forced to live unhealthy lifestyles in order to keep their jobs. What I am saying: It's time to elect people into these positions who will address these issues of call, amount of necessary sleep before you can go to work again ( just like truckers have. Heck truckers are represented better than us)and the health issues that arise when one is forced to work many hours, without adequate sleep. Many documented studies on sleep deprivation and hypertension and such. It's time to get the philosophical, self promoting folks that DO NOT take call and are NOT in touch with what actually is going on in the profession, out of these positions, if we ever want things to get better in this so called profession. Heck, I am actually thinking of running for a position next time it comes up and exposing the truth about the profession and trying to get people to unit and address these issues with the American Labor Board. Just like the current administration of our Country, it's time the S.D.M.S. represents the sonographer, instead of talking about sonographer awareness week.

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

4 days ago

I've observed that nurses, truckers, hell, even waitresses are starting to get representation. The reason why we don't have representation in ultrasound is due to a laundry list of things:

1) Female passivity, i can't tell you how many times, i've been to facilities, and they have the worse conditions. But instead of the sonographers getting together and making a stand? They'll sit back and wait for someone else to do it. I see it when it comes to "difficult" exams, OR cases, or standing up against abusive radiologist. The first thing that comes out of their mouths? "Oh, you're stronger than we are, YOU DO IT!" They sit there waiting for someone else to do their dirty work. And when that person fails? They sit back and laugh at them behind their backs. They don't admit to this, but i've seen it hundreds of times. "I wouldn't have done something that stupid!" "Oh, that's what she gets!"

2) Females that are mothers that will use their children as excuse for not taking legal action for ultrasound tech as a whole. "I've got mouths to feed!" Okay, keep getting pregnant, you don't seem to mind THAT kind of action. The less you get pregnant - the less mouths you have to feed - the less back stabbing, manipulative, behavior we don't have to deal with because of those techs that will again, lie cheat, steal to keep "their" jobs.

3) Females who've made bad relationship choices that are stuck with kids, and a dead beat husband. So they are scared to "put their job on the line". They are not only supporting a house full of kids - but a man that they bring that pay check home to every 2 weeks - while he either gambles, drinks or drugs it away or in some cases unemployed .

4) Females that take job to get a man. Not JUST a man, but he has to be a doctor, radiologist, surgeon or the director. Now, we don't won't to jeopardize our relationship with the physicians - while we're trying to make the world a better place for sonographers.

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

4 days ago

Then we have the problem of this being such a specialized field, with such high turnover, most people would rather spend their time looking for another career, versus fighting city hall.

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

4 days ago

And the latest epidemic that's sweeping the nation?

"Single moms!"

which leads us back to the dilemma of #2.

And the vicious cycle starts again. Basically all boiling down to "job security"..

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amazingtech in idaho falls, Idaho

4 days ago

And let's not forget.. Oh.. should i even mention it?

I shall!

Our would-be directors, and imaging department managers of the future! They go to U/S school just for the sake of saying they've gone to U/S school. These are the ones with the most degrees - yet the least experience in the field.

They will proudly state that they are certified as U/S techs, but you couldn't get them near a patient if they were double-gloved and wearing a full suit of armor!

Yes, you've seen them, and many have come quite close to losing your minds while working with them. They are the ones who spend more time, doing less work than anyone else on the team. Tell them that? And they will deny it vehemently. That's part of their administrative skills at work.

Yep, you've seen them. They usually sit very close to the patient printer and keeping a close eye on the schedule. As soon as something difficult comes up, or something they absolutely abhor doing? pediatrics, vascular, OB, portables, biopsies - they suddenly disappear into thin air!

These types are ones that will definitely ensure we don't cause a problem when they "make it to the top". Why? they need their slaves!

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