When you decide to take on the career of being an ultrasound technician, you quickly begin to realize that it is no cake walk. This job is one that demands total focus when you are working, dedication to your craft and a compassionate personality to deal with people in sometimes difficult, life-changing situations. The job description is certainly not simply lining people up and shooting a picture like some people think. It requires a great deal more from the perfect candidate.
Where would an Ultrasound Technician be employed?
Ultrasound technicians, also called sonographers, are employed in a number of different places largely depending on the specialization that they are covering. Hospitals are certainly a primary employer as well as doctor’s office in private practice. Other employers include imaging centers, surgical centers, obstetricians, gynecologists and specialist’s offices of all kinds. Emergency rooms are an important employer for sonographers as well though they demand a very cool under pressure type of personality.
What type of personality must you have?
You need a number of personality traits to be a sonographer and you often use them all during a shift. You need to be calm, professional, patient, engaging, persistent, accurate and precise. All of these traits allow you to navigate a person’s body to find the area that needs to be diagnosed by the doctor. This often means moving in and around internal organs and occasionally seeing things that can be alarming or dangerous. You have to keep a calm demeanor and get that information to the doctor without alarming the patient.
What are the primary job descriptions for the ultrasound technician?
Ultrasound technicians use high frequency sound to bring up visual images of internal organs, tissues and blood flow within a human body. They have to be creative in positioning the body to get the best possible images for doctors.
This is done by placing a wand (called a transducer) over the area that is being viewed and watching the images in real time on a screen.
This requires extensive knowledge of how to use the equipment, human anatomy and recognizing the different views of different parts of the body. Not every area shows up on screen in the same manner.
It also involves keeping the patient calm and explaining the procedure when asked. Keeping them at ease is vital to getting the information needed to make a proper diagnosis. Excellent judgment is required as well. You have to be the determining factor of whether enough information has been gathered for the doctor to make a proper diagnosis. This is not always easy to do.
Although the job is a tough one, being a sonographer is also very rewarding. Any career with a tough job description demands dedication and training, and being an ultrasound technician certainly fits that bill. If you are willing to put in the time and training, then you will have a career that will make you happy and challenged for a very long time to come.
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