Ultrasound vs. Nursing

  1. hi, i am in a last minute funk, so to speak...i am scheduled to start school at a local community college to begin studies for my adn. i have always had a great interest in nursing but lately have started to dig into the idea of diagnostic ultrasound, looking up everything i could and finding that this too, is of great interest to me.
    my mom seems to think ultrasound would be a better fit for me, as i am generally quiet and shy. she seems to think ultrasound isnt as 'fast paced' as nursing and that it may be more 'calm' hence suiting my sometimes bashful behavior. she is not a nurse, or anything in the medical field so her ideas are simply opinion and assumption. but her words have caused me to second guess myself and my abilities (not nice on her part, in my opinion)
    anyway, my questions are now, if anyone knows...

    1) what is the job outlook for ultrasound vs. nursing? are techs just as needed as rn?
    2) is the nature of ultrasound really more 'calm' than rn? to an extent of noticable difference?

    i guess i want to make the best decision for me. i am 21 years old and have a 17 month old daughter so i am trying to pick what will benefit the both of us. from what i have looked up, both careers are supposed to pay roughly the same (?) and the associate degree is suitable for both also (?)...i guess i am mainly wondering if the job outlook for ultrasound is as promising as nursing and if the nature of the job is as fast paced as i assume nursing to be...
    i figure most of you work near/with ultrasound so perhaps may have an idea of the details pertaining to that particular job.

    any advice would be great, thank you so much!

    janel
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    About Yannie021

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 14

    26 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Good luck in whatever you do.

    The US techs in our facility work hard and fast paced, particularly with ER patients complaining of abdominal pain and pregant females with various complaints, everyone needing to be done at the same time. So it can be stressful.
  4. by   Yannie021
    right, and that is what i assumed. i highly doubted it would be 'easy' or 'low-key'...lol i guess mainly...i hardly hear of ultrasound techs, you know? perhaps i am listening to the wrong information...it has been made very clear the nursing is in demand as there is a nursing shortage, however is ultrasound just as demanded?
  5. by   Tweety
    I don't really know about US techs, but I have read the radiology techs have a bright future.

    Also, you could work for a gyn practice Ultrasounding babies, that would be a little less stressful.
  6. by   Yannie021
    i'm not worried about the stress...my mom is...lol i think i'd do just fine either way to be honest...but yes...i was hoping as a rn to eventually land on l&d and if i did ultrasound i wanted to do general which i believe includes ob/gyn as opposed to echocardiography...i am a big, big fan of pregnancy, labor and delivery...
  7. by   TheCommuter
    There are many more nursing positions available. Additionally, ultrasound positions are difficult to come across and don't pay very well.
  8. by   Empress
    Quote from TheCommuter
    There are many more nursing positions available. Additionally, ultrasound positions are difficult to come across and don't pay very well.
    Not in my area, US pays more than nursing and you have your pick of full-time positions.
  9. by   SkateBetty
    Quote from TheCommuter
    There are many more nursing positions available. Additionally, ultrasound positions are difficult to come across and don't pay very well.
    Are you sure? I know a PICU nurse in FL who is planning to switch to US because she can make more money, and it's way less stressful.
  10. by   tridil2000
    Quote from yannie021
    right, and that is what i assumed. i highly doubted it would be 'easy' or 'low-key'...lol i guess mainly...i hardly hear of ultrasound techs, you know? perhaps i am listening to the wrong information...it has been made very clear the nursing is in demand as there is a nursing shortage, however is ultrasound just as demanded?


    there is no nursing shortage... just a shortage of rns who want to work directly with patients, especially in acute care.

    this should make you, and all all aspiring nurses, ask 'why?'

    have you looked in to cat scan tech? they have decent jobs imo, as well as u/s techs.
  11. by   jer_sd
    Ok here is my disclamer I am not a sonographer I am a nurse practitioner for a radiology group and the director of a nuclear medicine school. I preform and interpret ultrasound examinations as part of my job.

    Nursing does have more flexability than an imaging technologist (more nursing jobs and more shifts). They salary is comperable between the two, sonographers can make more if on call or paid per the scan rather than by hour.

    There is significant stress with being a sonographer including documenting fetal death, er patients, or cases ect... In addition there are a number of procedures you may need to assist with from transrectal prostate biopsy, paracentesis, amniocentesis, hystrosonograms....
    But there may be down time between between cases. Unfortunatly iltrasound is operator dependant so a goos sonographer is a great find.

    Occupational injuries are common sonographers develop arm and hand problems..... Depending on what part nursing you work in you can have back hand ect...

    If you are introverted it can be hard at both jobs but there is always a way to find a job in a career field.

    One interesting part of ultrasound is you can still have on the job training to qualify for certification(I am eligable for vascular and abdomen ultrasound certifications) so if you are really interested on ob ultrasound and nursing you might be able to be trained on the job with attending seminars or some courses.

    Both are great career choices that offer decent pay and security....

    Jeremy
  12. by   marilynmom
    Quote from TheCommuter
    There are many more nursing positions available. Additionally, ultrasound positions are difficult to come across and don't pay very well.
    Not where I live, US positions here pay more then nursing.
  13. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from marilynmom
    Not where I live, US positions here pay more then nursing.
    Apparently you're in Oklahoma, a state that is not known for high nursing salaries.

    I am from California, a state that pays RNs up to $53 hourly in certain places (such as San Francisco). There aren't very many ultrasound techs earning $53 hourly. Let me rephrase what I previously said. Nursing salaries are dependent upon geographical location. Ultrasound salaries are dependent upon geographical location.
  14. by   firstyearstudent
    I debated whether to become an ultrasound tech or nurse when considering a second career. Ultrasound appealed to me because I like technology, it's non-invasive and patients generally do not HATE it, and the therapeutic relationship is generally very circumscribed (you're in there and out). The last two were a consideration because I am generally not a "people person." However, I decided on nursing because, as a career, it seemed to me to provide more opportunities and growth and challenges.

    And, so far, I have risen to the challenges of nursing. I've really grown in the last year in terms of being able to assert myself and approach people in difficult circumstances. These are skills that people can learn -- even those who aren't naturally at ease dealing with others. If an old dog like me can learn new tricks, I'm sure you'll do even better. If you want nursing, go for it. If you run into problems, there's always counseling -- often free through your school.

    I've been reading some books by Pima Chodron, a Buddhist nun, and she argues that you should put yourself in positions that make you uncomfortable -- those are where you'll experience the most growth.

    RE your mom: sometimes moms are overconcerned with protectiing their children. She doesn't want to see you get hurt -- but growth and change are risky.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Aug 22, '06

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