A registered ultrasound technician, or diagnostic medical sonographer, is a highly educated and skilled expert working in the field of medical practice who operates an ultrasound machine, performing diagnostic examinations. Your doctor will then study the resulting images and, based on calculations and other factors, conclude if any abnormalities exist.
How Ultrasound Changed Pregnancy
When the technology of ultrasound first emerged, pregnant women were ecstatic. They could now see their developing babies. As they lay on the cold table, with bladders ready to explode from the gallons of water they were forced to drink to get a clear picture, an ultrasound technician lubricated their stomachs with ice cold gel and proceeded to rub a transducer probe across their bellies while the anxious future moms and dads looked on.
The pictures were often disappointing – blurred and grainy. Most patients squinted, trying to discern what was placenta and what was baby. Without the sonographer patiently tracing the image with a finger on the monitor, they didn’t know if they were admiring their baby’s face or the uterus it was inside. As for gender, well, that was still a hit and miss thing – basically no different from the baby shower tradition of swinging a ring on a rope, and guessing the baby’s sex based on whether the ring twirled or swung like a pendulum. Even when parents were given a snapshot to take home, they could peer at it for hours attempting to guess if they were looking at a foot or an umbilical cord.
Back then, only the sonographer’s experienced eye could differentiate the important information from the blips and blotches on the monitor to insure that all was well. But since then, ultrasound and its technicians have evolved a hundredfold. Accreditation to be a professional in this career requires years of learning and expertise, along with the competency, diagnostic astuteness, and personality to become highly successful at this specialty.
Briefly, How Does Ultrasound Work?
The ultrasonographer sends harmless high frequency sounds undetected by human ears toward a ‘target’ he or she is aiming at, based on his or her training in anatomy. In this case, the target is a growing baby. Those sound waves are directed via a probe called a transducer. The sound waves basically bounce back. When they encounter the bone or tissue of the baby, an echo is created, much as when you yell into a cavern. That echo pings back to create an image on a monitor—in essence, a picture of the baby complete with all its parts, including internal bones, tissue, organs and even blood flow. You’ll only see larger parts of the baby, like face, limbs, heart, etc., but the technician knows what all the little pieces of the fetus are. He or she is trained to measure, decipher and make calculations of every part to verify due date, gender, and see if anything is out of the ordinary.
Does Your Clinic Offer Ultrasound Services?
Yes, we offer ultrasound services at our practice and are accredited at both our Canton and Woodstock locations. Headed up by our chief ultrasonographer, Brenda Peters, our practice has earned an enviable place on a limited list of practices fully accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in medicine for obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound. Brenda’s training includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the diagnostic medical sonography program of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she graduated with high honors in 2000. She is also a registered OB-GYN Ultrasonographer by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and is certified in nuchal translucency, a specific screening to determine the presence of Down syndrome.
What Does Ultrasound Accreditation Involve?
A minimum number of required hours of clinical experience must be met, and the ultrasonographers must continue to update their skills and stay current by attending the obligatory programs available to them. If they wish to specialize in a particular field, additional education is necessary. Many not only excel in this choice of career, but also mentor and train others to become proficient in this vocation. Also, physicians must take ongoing ultrasound classes and pass a test every three years in order to read ultrasound studies.
What Skills Does a Registered Ultrasonographer Have?
- They are required to have basic knowledge of pathophysiology (knowledge of disorders and syndromes), anatomy, and physiology (knowledge of the function of living matter such as cells, tissues and organs)
- They must be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal sonographic findings, recognizing particular conditions and diseases.
- They must be able to recognize ultrasound patterns and imaging.
- Sonographers do not simply diagnose findings, but must also know how to efficiently operate the equipment to acquire all the necessary data for diagnosis.
- They must possess excellent clinical and communication skills
- They must be able to assess and care for their patients, be adept at problem solving, and apply unbiased, logical, critical thinking to all findings.
- They must adhere to all sanitary guidelines to prevent infection, and be mindful of all safety and health issues.
- They are required to have knowledge of ultrasound physics
- They keep image copies, accurate records, precise charts and detailed information, sharing their diagnosis with their medical colleagues in order to insure optimum patient care.
- They often communicate findings to patients in real time, taking however long is necessary to explain all procedures, thus instilling trust, confidence and calmness in the person under their care.
- They need strong verbal and written skills, in both medical and layman terminology to be able to communicate their findings to their colleagues.
- In many cases, they may be required to move patients and be able to stand for long hours, requiring them to be in peak physical condition.Ultrasound registry takes years of study, dedication and experience to achieve.
- Reaccreditation is done every three years for our office.
Our staff of professionals in this field are available to care for you, the patient, with their knowledge and expertise at all times.
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