Choosing to study in the sonography schools in Canada is a decision worth taking. Medical sonographers operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body in order to aid physicians in monitoring pregnancies and diagnosing ophthalmic, vascular, cardiac, and other medical disorders.
Medical sonographers are employed in clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are also included in this unit group.
In this article, we will be looking at sonography schools in Canada and the things you should know about sonographers in the United States.
Sonographers are the Radiologist’s eyes
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a diverse and dynamic profession. Sonographers are active in many areas of healthcare. Algonquin College offers a Graduate Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography for the Generalist.
This credential allows you to competently assess a wide variety of organ systems. Examples of these can include Abdominal, Obstetrical, Gynecological, Superficial Structure exams and Lower Extremity Venous and Carotid duplex Doppler exams.
Sonographers are an integral part of the healthcare team, playing a critical role by providing key information that enables diagnosis and assists in patient management.
The quality of an ultrasound study is highly dependent on the skill of the sonographer. In order to perform a thorough ultrasound, the sonographer must adapt their study in response to their sonographic findings.
Sonographers bring together an important combination of skills including technical competency, decision making, critical thinking, professional practice and patient care. The sonographer must have an educational background strong in ultrasound physics, anatomy, physiology and pathology.
They must analyze data, make judgements, differentiate normal from abnormal, based on real time physiologic information and effectively communicate with patients and other members of the healthcare team.
The final diagnostic report relies on information compiled by the sonographer concerning patient history, clinical symptoms and sonographic findings.
What are the job duties of sonographers?
Sonographers operate ultrasound imaging equipment that transmits high-frequency sound pulses through the body to produce images of those parts of the body that requires examination.
Sonographers monitor examination by viewing images on a video screen in order to evaluate the quality and the consistency of diagnostic images; making adjustments to equipment as required.
They record, store and process scanned images by using a camera unit that is connected to ultrasound equipment.
Sonographers observe and care for patients throughout examinations in order to ensure patients’ safety and comfort.
They prepare examination reports for physicians to aid the monitoring of pregnancies.
They prepare examination reports to diagnose cardiac, abdominal, ophthalmic, vascular and other disorders.
They perform quality control checks on ultrasound equipment to ensure proper operation and perform minor repairs, as well as adjustments as required.
They sometimes supervise and train students and other sonographers.
Medical sonographers may specialize in abdominal, cardiac, cerebral, obstetrical and gynecological, ophthalmic, intraluminal or peripheral vascular sonography.
They may also specialize in adult or pediatric echocardiography or neurosonology.
The Job Titles of Sonographers
- diagnostic medical sonography instructor
- medical sonographer
- the registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS)
- medical sonographers supervisor
- ultrasound technologist
How much do sonographers earn in Canada?
Medical sonographers (NOC 3216) usually earn between $31.00/hour and $48.58/hour in Canada.
People working as “medical sonographers” are part of this group.
Employment Requirements For Sonographers in Canada
To become a sonographer in Canada, you must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a three-to-four year program in diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound technology or the completion of a two-to-three-year program in a related allied health field and a one-year post-diploma program in diagnostic medical sonography from an accredited institution is required or any of the sonography schools in Canada.
- Registration with the Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Professionals and/or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is usually required by employers.
- In Quebec, registration with l’Ordre des Technologues en Radiologie du Québec is required.
The List of Sonography Schools in Canada
- Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario
- BCIT, British Columbia
- Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology, Sudbury, Ontario
- Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON
- SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta
- St. Clair College, Windsor/Chatham, Ontario
More details on the sonography schools in Canada:
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario
- Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
- Duration: 2 Years
- Area of Interest: Health Sciences
- Program Code: 1618X01FWO
- Campus: Ottawa
- School: School of Health and Community Studies
- Work Integrated Learning: Clinical Placement
You are best suited for this program at Algonquin College if you have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and are self-directed in a team environment, possess good hand-eye coordination, detail oriented, proficiency in technology, have strong analytical and perceptual skills and are able to work in a variety of challenging and stressful work situations.
BCIT, British Columbia
The BCIT Diagnostic Medical Sonography program draws students from across the province.
Their program provides access to state-of-the-art equipment and the latest in ultrasound technology so that you are ready to start your career the moment you graduate.
- Twenty-seven-month, full-time Diploma program.
- Lectures and labs provide you with theory and active practice on campus.
- Forty-six weeks of clinical experiences in BC hospitals and/or clinics.
- Includes both areas of study – general and cardiac.
- Graduates may decide to work in either general or cardiac sonography, or to practice both.
The Dual Option of the diploma program is 27 months in length.
The program includes theory, labs and clinical training in general sonography (abdomen, superficial structures, pelvis, pregnant female pelvis, carotid arteries, and peripheral veins) as well as cardiac sonography (heart).
In their second year, students in this option will continue studies and undertake clinical placements in both general and cardiac sonography.
The sonographic specialties are supported by instruction in physical principles and instrumentation, patient care, communication, human behaviour, and research principles.
Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology, Sudbury, Ontario
Cambrian’s accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Ultrasound program will prepare you for entry-level roles in hospitals, medical clinics, and the private industry.
You’ll enjoy wide-ranging job opportunities, a higher than average salary, and a career where you’ll be making a difference in the lives of patients.
You will learn to safely use scanning equipment and imaging techniques to produce images of a body part or system, skills that can be required throughout the different departments of a clinical facility including the trauma unit, operating room, and intensive care area, as well as the diagnostic imaging department.
To graduate from this program, you must demonstrate scanning abilities at a level of competency defined by Sonography Canada and within the timelines set out in the curriculum. Also, you will be expected to rotate to one or more sites during your placement component.
Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON
Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography at Mohawk College is a nationally recognized and accredited program.
Through this program, you will develop field and clinical skills as part of an inter-professional team in the Centre for Health Care Simulation lab.
Outcomes of the Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program meet the competencies outlined in the Sonography Canada National Competency profile (NCP).
The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program at Mohawk College is a College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO) approved educational program. Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program and registration with Sonography Canada, graduates are eligible to register with the CMRITO. Check out their tuition details.
SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta
- Credential: Diploma
- Length: 26 months
Through the sonography program at SAIT, you train to perform ultrasound procedures and help monitor patient health in hospitals and community clinics through this specialized program covering all the key aspects of ultrasound technology, as well as anatomy and patient care.
Domestic Tuition Fee:
- Year 1: $8,813.50
- Year 2: $7,536.50
- Year 3: $2,839.50
St. Clair College, Windsor/Chatham, Ontario
The overall program goals and objectives are aligned with the current National Competency Profiles (NCP) Generalist, as approved by Sonography Canada.
This is one of the sonography schools in Canada where graduates will be eligible to challenge the Sonography Canada national board exams and successful completion of the registry exams will allow sonographers to seek employment in Ontario.
This program at St Clair also gives access to simulation labs and clinical placement settings that will expose the student to practical learning.
Graduates from the sonography schools in Canada can pursue job opportunities as a diagnostic medical sonographer in:
- doctors’ offices
- community clinics
Related careers include:
- cardiology technologist
- combined lab and x-ray technologist
- magnetic resonance technologist