If you are training to be a sonographer, you are likely to practice across various ultrasound imaging disciplines. They include the abdomen, chest, breast, cardiac, musculoskeletal and vascular. Sonography is a particularly sensitive discipline because the smallest mistake can lead to misdiagnoses, which is the last thing you want as a newbie ultrasound technician. Although good ultrasound imaging skills are acquired over time, you need a few tips and tricks to get you there fast.
As a student, you are likely to have free time, which you can use to practise with ultrasound equipment. Scan as many people as you can to get the hang of it. It will help you to establish what the different knobs do. It is challenging to learn when scanning a patient because the chances are high that you will be fumbling with the scanner trying to figure out how it operates. Most importantly, patients will be less confident with you. Therefore, the longer you spend practising how to use a scanner in your free time, the easier it gets to use the device on a patient.
Know What to Look For
Imagine bumping into someone, and both of you spill your bag's contents on the pavement. If you do not know what was in your pocket, you will find it challenging to sort your mess. The same applies when operating an ultrasound machine because you must know what you are looking for or miss essential signals. Although a 'complete' ultrasound exam is often advisable, you will be relying on a physician's specific instructions. Often, physicians and sonographers rely on a patient's medical history when conducting an ultrasound scan. For instance, if you do not know that a patient experienced cerebrovascular events, you are likely miss a fibroelastoma in their heart.
Be Confident and Move the Patient
Ultrasounds are conducted in a patient's interest. Therefore, it does not do you any good to spend 10 minutes or more looking for the gallbladder. Take too much time frustrates a patient, which is the last thing you need during an ultrasound scan. Therefore, do not be shy to move a patient if it will help you capture the most detailed image. However, remember to put a patient in a comfortable position to help you conduct the scan quickly. Additionally, explain to a patient why repositioning them is in their best interest.
Contact a provider of ultrasounds to learn more.