I'm sorry to be so redundant since I have posted about this issue several times in the past, but I guess I am chronically "wishy-washy."
I have had two dreams since I was a child-to be a sonographer or a nurse. For a long time, I knew nursing was the field I was meant to enter, and I've taken most of the prerequisites for nursing school. All of my prerequisites for nursing school are also the same for sonography school-with the exception of physics, which I can take this summer. I've been accepted to nursing school and a sonography program, both of which offer an Associate's degree. I have shadowed nurses and sonographers and both jobs facinate me! HELP! I guess I feel myself leaning more toward sonography now, since the job seems more independent-I guess that's appealing to me. But I'm still having a hard time making up my mind. I don't want to regret decision I make, but I need to "take the bull by the horns" and just do one or the other. If anyone has any advice for me, I would sincerely appreciate it.
May 8, '07
First thing I would do is see if it is easy to get a job as a sonographer, how good is the market for that career at this time, and then, decide. If it were me, I would take the position with the least stress, if the option for employment is the same as for nurses. Not trying to criticize my profession, but, it can be stressful.
May 8, '07
What a wonderful dilemma!
There's no way to guarantee how either track will pan out for you. At some point, you've just got to make your best choice and run with it. I like to think of it this way... if my choice doesn't turn out as I'd like, can I still look back on my decision-making process and know that I did the best I could with limited information?
Here's another angle on nursing vs sonography... most nurses have to juggle several patients throughout their shift whereas sonographers generally work with one patient at a time. Some people find that juggling stimulating, others just find it tiring. Some people probably find sonography interesting while other might find it more narrowly focused than they'd like.
You've probably heard that nurses have more varied opportunities available and that's probably true in most places... but they are nursing jobs and the bulk of those are inpatient bedside nursing. Other types of nursing (school nursing, public health nursing) have limited job openings. Sonography is probably similar. There are probably a few choice positions that pay well and offer variety and all that, but then others are more basic, without much room for growth, doing the same thing over and over. Again, no guarantees of great jobs no matter what. If you're good at what you do and enjoy it, then you'll find a way to make it worth your while.
No matter what route you take, you'll learn a lot about yourself. Some things you just can't know until you try.
May 8, '07
I work in a radiology department of a children's hospital and all of the sonographers I know are happy and have no regrets about their career decision. There are many opportunities in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. Instead of working in a hospital or outpatient diagnostic setting, you could work in sales for a company that manufactures diagnostic equipment, be a manager, be an instructor at a college for this career, or even work as a sonography textbook writer. I've never met a burned-out sonographer where I work. A burned-out nurse? Yes! My suggestion would be to do the diagnostic medical sonography program since most that I know of are limited access (that is, compared to nursing, where generally more students are admitted). That way if you still decide to pursue nursing in the future (don't wait too long or those prereq science courses will expire), you can work flexible hours as a sonographer and still make a decent living while doing an RN program. Some schools now have part-time RN programs (like at Palm Beach CC) or evening/weekend programs (Seminole CC); so this may be doable for you if you're in Florida. Some of the sonographers I work with do two 16-hour shifts on the weekend and they're done for the week and can pursue other interests (work on bachelor's or master's degree, hobbies, etc). Since you've been indecisive about which to pursue, perhaps you can give yourself a timeframe for completing both associate degrees, if this is compatible with your life (family, work obligations, worship, etc). Having both these skills under your belt will only make you more marketable and a valuable asset to any organization. Follow your heart!
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