Is this a good career alternative?

Nurses General Nursing


I talked with a tech who performs transthoracic echocardiograms at my hospital. If she's telling the truth, she's making as much as an RN (not counting the night and weekend differentials we get), and appears to have much less stress/liability, plus she works M-F day shift, with occasional weekends on call. She claims there is a big demand for this skill right now.

I've been searching the web, trying to research this, but haven't found many job ads with actual salaries mentioned. Do any of you know anyone who does this? Can you tell me anything about the employment outlook, salaries compared to RN salaries, and job satisfaction/stress level? Also, any thoughts on nuclear medicine technology jobs?


60 Posts

Hi grouchy,

interesting personal opinion is that this job sounds pretty good--a lot of technical skill required.

Like many technical/technologist positions, there are less actual jobs available therefore automatically more competition. For instance my sister and i both come from an allied health back ground (now i'm going into the nursing field) and trust me, when hospitals close or lay off staff we are always the ones who feel it the hardest. For example, a hospital can realistically get by without a full lab department (thus eliminating dozens of workers) and also hospitals can outsource more complex investigation procedures like the one you mentioned. I know back in mid-90 I wish i was a nurse and had more comfortable options for myself than just riding the casualization/temporary/ wave.

i guess it all depends, too, what kind of work you really want to do. You may just be realizing now that you wanted a more technical field along. The positive thing is that if you retrain you always have to professions to rely on which makes you very employable...that is sort of my situation.

Anyway, i'm sure by looking around you will find more info on this field...maybe try the tech association websites.


SICU Queen

1 Article; 543 Posts

Specializes in SICU.

An RN friend of mine is going back to ultrasound school... says the money is as good as an RN's... I'll ask her about it. :)


4,516 Posts

I wonder if it's possible to just go for the advanced training specific to echo...or if a nurse would have to complete the rad tech program first to qualify?

Interesting thread! :)

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