Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Sonography is the use of high-frequency sound waves, also known as ultrasound, to observe the internal world of the human body.  Adult Echocardiography, Pediatric Echocardiography, and Vascular Sonography are branches of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Typical Tasks:

  • Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.
  • Decide which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas.
  • Operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of the motion, shape, and composition of blood, organs, tissues, or bodily masses, such as fluid accumulations.
  • Observe screen during scan to ensure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to equipment as required.
  • Select appropriate equipment settings and adjust patient positions to obtain the best sites and angles.
  • Prepare patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring patient to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning patient properly.
  • Observe and care for patients throughout examinations to ensure their safety and comfort.
  • Process and code film from procedures and complete appropriate documentation.
  • Obtain and record accurate patient history, including prior test results or information from physical examinations.
  • Determine whether scope of exam should be extended, based on findings.

EKG Technician/Electrocardiography and Telementry Monitoring

EKG or ECG technicians are trained to record and monitor the hearts electrical activity, recognize and evaluate heart rhythms.

Histologic Technician

Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists. May assist in research studies.

Typical Tasks:

  • Cut sections of body tissues for microscopic examination using microtomes.
  • Mount tissue specimens on glass slides.
  • Stain tissue specimens with dyes or other chemicals to make cell details visible under microscopes.
  • Embed tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrate tissue specimens with wax.
  • Examine slides under microscopes to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment such as microscopes, mass spectrometers, microtomes, immunostainers, tissue processors, embedding centers, and water baths.
  • Operate computerized laboratory equipment to dehydrate, decalcify, or microincinerate tissue samples.
  • Freeze tissue specimens.
  • Prepare or use prepared tissue specimens for teaching, research or diagnostic purposes.
  • Identify tissue structures or cell components to be used in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician

Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Typical Tasks:

  • Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using a microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.
  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
  • Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
  • Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.
  • Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.

Neurodiagnostic Technologist / IONM

Conduct electroneurodiagnostic (END) tests such as electroencephalograms, evoked potentials, polysomnograms, or electronystagmograms. May perform nerve conduction studies.  To become an IONM Technologist the Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) is required.  IONM technologist works with patients of all ages in the surgical setting of the hospital.

Typical Tasks:

  • Measure patients’ body parts and mark locations where electrodes are to be placed.
  • Attach electrodes to patients using adhesives.
  • Monitor patients during tests or surgeries, using electroencephalographs (EEG), evoked potential (EP) instruments, or video recording equipment.
  • Conduct tests or studies such as electroencephalography (EEG), polysomnography (PSG), nerve conduction studies (NCS), electromyography (EMG), and intraoperative monitoring (IOM).
  • Indicate artifacts or interferences derived from sources outside of the brain, such as poor electrode contact or patient movement, on electroneurodiagnostic recordings.
  • Explain testing procedures to patients, answering questions or reassuring patients as needed.
  • Adjust equipment to optimize viewing of the nervous system.
  • Set up, program, or record montages or electrical combinations when testing peripheral nerve, spinal cord, subcortical, or cortical responses.
  • Measure visual, auditory, or somatosensory evoked potentials (EPs) to determine responses to stimuli.
  • Conduct tests to determine cerebral death, the absence of brain activity, or the probability of recovery from a coma.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.

Typical Tasks:

  • Detect and map radiopharmaceuticals in patients’ bodies, using a camera to produce photographic or computer images.
  • Administer radiopharmaceuticals or radiation intravenously to detect or treat diseases, using radioisotope equipment, under direction of a physician.
  • Produce a computer-generated or film image for interpretation by a physician.
  • Calculate, measure, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals received, used, and disposed, using computer and following physician’s prescription.
  • Perform quality control checks on laboratory equipment or cameras.
  • Maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory equipment.
  • Dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures.
  • Process cardiac function studies, using computer.
  • Prepare stock radiopharmaceuticals, adhering to safety standards that minimize radiation exposure to workers and patients.
  • Record and process results of procedures.

Polysomnography (Sleep Medicine)

Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of sleep and daytime alertness. The range of sleep disorders is varied but includes narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia, and many others. PSG technologists operate a variety of electronic monitoring devices that record brain activity (EEG), muscle and eye movement, respiration, and blood oxygen levels. Technologists also help evaluate treatment methods.

Radiologic Technician

Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.

Typical Tasks:

  • Use beam-restrictive devices and patient-shielding techniques to minimize radiation exposure to patient and staff.
  • Position x-ray equipment and adjust controls to set exposure factors, such as time and distance.
  • Position patient on examining table and set up and adjust equipment to obtain optimum view of specific body area as requested by physician.
  • Explain procedures to patients to reduce anxieties and obtain cooperation.
  • Determine patients’ x-ray needs by reading requests or instructions from physicians.
  • Operate mobile x-ray equipment in operating room, emergency room, or at patient’s bedside.
  • Prepare and set up x-ray room for patient.
  • Assure that sterile or non-sterile supplies such as contrast materials, catheters, films, chemicals, or other required equipment, are present and in working order or requisition materials.
  • Process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.
  • Make exposures necessary for the requested procedures, rejecting and repeating work that does not meet established standards.

Advanced Technical Certificates available in this field are:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technology
  • Medical Imaging Technology-Computed Tomography
  • Medical Radiography-Mammography
Description 2017 Jobs 2027 Jobs
Low Pay
Medium Pay
High Pay
Diagnostic Medical Sonography 1,694 2,216 $55,133 $73,889 $179,828
EKG Technician / Electrocardiography and Telementry Monitoring 1,568 1,976 $31,830 $48,968 $81,067
Histologic Technician 3,240 4,014 $43,587 $61,748 $81,383
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician 3,240 4,014 $43,587 $61,748 $81,383
Neurodiagnostic Technologist 2,533 3,405 $29,237 $47,811 $82,272
Nuclear Medicine Technologist 239 285 $64,447 $77,836 $99,001
Polysomnography (Sleep Medicine) 2,533 3,405 $29,237 $47,811 $82,272

Education Level:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Associate Degree and Advanced Technical Certificates (ATC)
  • EKG Technician / Electrocardiography and Telementry Monitoring – Certificate
  • Histologic Technician – Associate Degree
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician – Associate Degree / Bachelor Degree
  • Neurodiagnostic Technologist – Associate Degree
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist – Associate Degree
  • Polysomnography (Sleep Medicine) – Associate Degree
  • Radiologic Technician – Associate Degree and Advanced Technical Certificates (ATC)
Source: Career Coach – Houston – Woodlands – Sugarland, TX Region

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