One of the key components in this career is the ability to explain clear procedures to your patient so that they know what is going on at all times. Along with clear procedures comes comforting them because most times a patient may be new to the surroundings. How you present yourself to the patient will play a big part in determining how relaxed they will be; although, this does not always go as planned. You will most likely get a few frantic patients either because of their current medical situation or simply because they are unfamiliar and nervous, so you must be mentally prepared to handle that situation with ease by being compassionate and always feeling empathetic for your patient. I also learned that being extremely observant by noticing the small details is another essential part in being a Diagnostic Sonographer. As soon as you notice an abnormality, it is important that you document it, remain calm, and let the physician know. That being said, knowing how to properly communicate to your colleagues will be very crucial in this setting in order to keep the workplace running smoothly and fast. Lastly, your mental health will be challenged at one point in this career setting but you cannot let it distract you from noticing the small, vital details. You must always try to clear your mind from any discomfort, and think positively in order to get the job done right.
Other than having your brain extremely sharp as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, you will also need to have a certain set of skills to make sure you are being efficient in your workplace. To my surprise, I learned that a tricky part of being a Diagnostic Sonographer is the hand-eye coordination technique. You must be able to move your hand on the patient’s body while watching the screen to find the best quality images needed. Along with skills that are needed, comes your technical abilities. Always being educated and keeping up to date on the new technology in the medical field is a must, especially for a career relying so much on technical devices. I have also learned that after completing an ultrasound, you are supposed to complete a hand-written report and doing so, you must obtain the correct medical terminology and correct writing format in order to clearly state the diagnosis to the physician. Lastly, time management is a keen skill that will help you as a medical sonographer. You will need to plan ahead to ensure that the scheduled appointments for your patients are going smoothly and you must be ready for any situation thrown your way.
In my opinion, the most important part about my research for Diagnostic Sonography, was the academic side of it. Your knowledge to handle any situation is essential in a setting where you do not always know what the results may be. Personally, I love math and science so when finding out if either were involved, I was so pleased to find out that they were and are definitely the most crucial subjects in learning Diagnostic Sonography. I learned that algebra plays a key role in sonography; for example, you might have to scale an abdominal circumference to calculate the weight of a fetus or compare a patient’s data over a certain time period. “Learning algebra enhances the power to think through problems, and that is critical for sonographers”. (UTC p1) The basis understanding of algebra will keep you ready for any circumstance. I learned that the science involved is mostly anatomy and physiology which makes complete sense because you are dealing with organ systems and knowing how they function properly. An example showing that anatomy and physiology are crucial in Diagnostic Sonography is how the ultrasound produces images of internal organs meanwhile combines information such as the movement and velocity of tissue or blood.
One factor I have made sure that I am well aware of, is the typical day of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. If I want to make this a career I made sure to know what an average day may look like. After doing the research, I have learned that at first you may need to adjust equipment and make sure everything is ready to be put to use and will not malfunction. Next, would be to greet the patient and examine their body and facial signals to ensure that they are comfortable and aware of the procedures. Then would be to follow procedure and find the best positions to make sure that you are getting the most accurate images of the motion and shape. Lastly, you should report your findings from the sonogram to the physician. After repeating the same process to each of your patients, you will find that throughout the work day, you are mostly standing and walking around for the majority of time. I am now aware that your physical shape is important in order to keep you at your best. On top of being on your feet most of the day, you may also need to help patients position themselves so being strong and in shape is a great skill to have to get you through the day successfully.