How Do Radiology and Sonography Differ?
Many people confuse radiology and sonography. While there are some things that make radiology and sonography the same—like using imaging to make a diagnosis—there are also many ways that the two fields are different. Here are a few of the key differences.
Radiology and Sonography Use Different Technology
Radiology technologists use different types of technology than diagnostic medical sonographers (also called ultrasound technologists). Radiology techs may work with technology that involves radiation, like X-rays, computed tomography (CT scans) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs). Diagnostic medical sonographers use high-frequency sound waves to create their images. Their sonograms don’t use radiation at all. That’s why they are safe to use on expectant mothers.
Radiology and Sonography Are Used for Diagnosing Different Things
Radiology and sonography are used in different ways.
Radiology techs perform diagnostic imaging procedures such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. With their flexible skills, they can work in different settings, including hospitals and specialty clinics. Radiology techs can also specialize in other techniques, like mammography or cardiovascular-interventional radiology. They might take images of a broken bone or a malformation, helping the medical team make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Most people think of images of unborn babies when they think of sonograms, but the truth is that sonographers use technology for more than just checking fetal development. Sonographers can also take sound-wave images of the heart and vascular system, abdominal region, breasts, musculoskeletal system and other body parts. There are many ways that sound waves can help make a diagnosis, like when an echocardiogram’s images reveal an unhealthy heart.
Different Career Paths and Salaries
Radiology techs and sonography techs also pursue different studies and earn different salaries. A radiology tech makes an average of $50,872, according to Glassdoor.com. Ultrasound techs make an average of $67,332, according to the same website.
Studies are also different. The Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology and the Cambridge Institute of Allied Health offer an industry-current Radiologic Technologist program that can be completed in as little as two to four years.
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