Sonography and Patient Care: What Makes a Great Sonographer?

Sonography and Patient Care: What makes a great sonographer?

Sonographers are required to have both technical competency as well as interpersonal skills that allow them to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their patients. A vital part of a medical team, the sonographer plays an important role in giving high-quality care to the community around them. Because of this, extraordinary sonographers are required to meet the needs of patients and provide them with excellence in health care services and the screening of potential health risks and conditions.

To learn more, check out the infographic below created by Adventist University’s Online Bachelor’s in Sonography program.

Sonography and Patient Care

A Good Sonographer’s Role Begins with Patient Preparation

As they say, the best place to start is always the beginning. It is important to help to prepare your patient for an exam by providing them with information about the ultrasound procedure. Next, a sonographer will verify the patient’s identity and obtain a detailed patient history, asking the patient important questions that may be vital to the exam. Taking time to invite patient questions and provide answers can help to ease patient anxiety, making their experience an effortless one and the sonographer’s job easier as well.

Equipment Preparation Can Make All the Difference in an Accurate Reading and False or Unclear Results.

The sonographer’s ultrasound equipment is the key component in providing medical teams with the clear, accurate images they need to do their job with excellence. It is the sonographer’s responsibility to maintain the equipment provided to them and to ensure each unit is operating at peak performance. In order to keep equipment producing reliable results, an excellent sonographer will run quality control tests on a regular basis and make any necessary adjustments that may arise or become problematic. They will also advocate for their patients by recommending any additional equipment purchases or upgrades that may be beneficial to the health care of their patients. In addition, sonographers are expected to be responsible for scheduling the use of the ultrasound equipment.

Sonographer’s Provide a Careful Diagnostic Examination

Ultrasounds are most often associated with obstetrics as a safe way to view and monitor the health of a mother and her unborn baby. There is no radiation risk to harm the child, making it the ideal choice for use in such a sensitive arena of medicine. In addition to education in obstetrics, sonographers are also educated in other areas of medicine such as cardiac, abdominal, vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal. Being well versed in different specialties can help to make a sonographer a versatile part of a patient’s medical team.

The sonographer is responsible for conducting the initial ultrasound examination, quality checking the images prior to ending the exam and analyzing the results, providing a preliminary interpretation of the images obtained to the patient’s physician. From this point forward, the sonographer interacts with physicians and other health care team members to provide the highest level of care possible.

What Traits are Important in a Sonographer?

LIFE-LONG LEARNER

A true passion for life-long learning is incredibly important in the medical field no matter what way you enter it. Staying abreast of ever-changing methods and technologies in medical advancements paves the way for a long, successful career and longer, more successful lives for your patient. In fact, in order to obtain an ultrasound certification, a sonographer is required to attend continuing education courses in their field.

DETAIL ORIENTED

Especially in emergent situations, a careful, detailed eye can be the difference in early detection and a worsening or unnoticed condition. It is important that sonographers are open and vocal with the overseeing physician to help spot small abnormalities that can assure an accurate diagnosis.

GREAT TECHNICAL SKILLS/HAND EYE COORDINATION

Out of all of the different forms of diagnostic imaging, ultrasound is the most hands on. It is vital that a good sonographer have excellent hand eye coordination that allows them to achieve the best, clearest images to support a patient’ continuing care.

MENTALLY TOUGHY

There may be times when a sonographer will bear witness to a dire prognosis. It is important that they be able to separate their work from their emotions, finding ways to cope healthily with the stressors of emotional situations on the job. Keeping their mental health strong means that they will be able to help many more people for years to come.

PHYSICALLY FIT

A great deal of a sonographer’s day will be spent on their feet. They may also be required to assist or lift patients who may need help moving onto or off of an exam table. In addition, many sonographers work on an on-call basis as well as regular business hours throughout the week.

Sonographers will face a variety of challenges in their everyday work, from language barriers to patient anxiety. An extraordinary sonographer is one that, in all things and most important of all things, puts their patients first helping them to overcome barriers, encouraging good communication and being a well-rounded provider that keeps themselves healthy, too, so that they can better serve their patients.

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