ADVANCING A CAREER IN ULTRASOUND: THE CASE FOR CROSS-TRAINING
In feedback from our last blog, we were asked to expand on the compelling need to cross-train in multiple ultrasound specialties in order to advance a career in the diagnostic ultrasound profession. These requests came in two forms:
- “I still have PTSD from my last board certification exam, and you want me to go through that A-G-A-I-N ?!”
- “I know I ‘ought to’, but do I really ‘need to’ ??? …. I want to have a life, after all.”
So with those thoughts in mind, we wanted to make the case for cross-training in ultrasound.
A good employer WANTS YOU to advance in sonographic proficiency and skill. If you do not feel like they do, it may be time to have a discussion with your supervisor on what resources are available. Quite often, there’s more support than what you see, but it may require you to express interest.
Employers have strong motivations to develop your expertise. Primarily this is because you become more versatile and valuable to them. A secondary factor is the increasing intricacy of reimbursement policies, as they affect sonographic providers. Reimbursements are increasingly being linked to sonographer/technology specialty certification, incentivizing employers to staff themselves accordingly – preferably with multi-specialty registered sonographers. Lastly by helping you advance in your career, a good employer hopes that a mutually-beneficial bond of loyalty will form.
As much as your employer wants to see you become more versatile and valuable, you should want this even more. Multiple certifications/registries will inevitably lead to higher compensation over time, greater potential for advancement, and make you a more attractive hire for prospective employers.
Beyond that, you will develop a much greater appreciation for the distinctive challenges associating with the scanning intricacies of different specialties. For example, different artifacts present more frequently in specific circumstances, and your familiarity with these “hazards” will give you an edge among your peers. Additionally, your confidence and self-assurance will grow as you develop a high level of proficiency in multiple areas.
In academia, there is a common refrain among educators trying to achieve tenure or otherwise advance: Publish or Perish. It speaks to the uncomfortable fact that we each must find ways to distinguish ourselves in a world that increasingly views people as interchangeable parts rather than individuals. While we, at Pegasus Lectures, remain focused on each person’s specific journey in their ultrasound career, with apologies to professional poets and limericists:
“Add certs before your career subverts.”
–Frank Miele, MSEE , President of Pegasus Lectures, Inc. Frank graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a triple major in physics, mathematics, and engineering. While at Dartmouth, he was a Proctor Scholar and received citations for academic excellence in comparative literature, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, and real analysis. Frank was a research and design engineer and project leader, designing ultrasound equipment and electronics for more than ten years at Hewlett Packard Company. As a designer of ultrasound, he has lectured across the country to sonographers, physicians, engineers and students on myriad topics.