Medical diagnostic sonography is a non-invasive way to visualize the inside of the human body. The sonographs—or ultrasounds—help doctors more accurately identify and treat patients’ conditions. If you want to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, you need strong attention to detail, good people skills, an understanding of technology, and some knowledge about the human body. You also need to know how to utilize the common imaging technology found in healthcare facilities. All these skills can be developed through training programs designed to prepare you for an entry-level position in the field. Learn more about the skills you need:
Anatomy and Physiology Knowledge
Imaging technology can be used to chart the progress of a pregnancy, discover joint and skeletal issues, or detect cancer. But you need to know where to look. Understanding basic anatomy and physiology will help you create optimal scans. As a Sonographer, you need to know the location, size, and orientation of bones, muscles, and organs within the body to choose the right scanning technique to create the best images. Knowing which areas of the body should be protected from scans also helps with patient care. And understanding what everything is supposed to look like can help you get a better image when something looks wrong.
Understanding of Medical Terminology
As a Diagnostic Sonographer, you’re surrounded by professionals who use medical terminology. You need to speak their language to communicate effectively. This knowledge base ensures that you convey and receive information accurately, reducing the risk of medical errors. It also helps you to correctly handle requests, understand orders, and document your findings. And because you speak both, medical terminology and plain old English, you can interpret sometimes complicated jargon for your patients.
Strong Attention to Detail for Medical Diagnostic Sonography
The images you create and assess as a sonographer are crucial to the health of your patients. Along with your knowledge of the body’s systems, you need strong attention to detail while you perform scans and prepare images for doctors. You must be able to distinguish between healthy and damaged internal structures, accurately identify obstructions, and properly label what you find. Doctors rely on your expertise to help them diagnose any issues and create the right treatment plan.
Proficiency with Healthcare Technology
Ultrasound machines will not be the only technology you utilize in medical diagnostic sonography. Scans for different areas of the body require unique imaging equipment to ensure the best quality images are produced. Cardiovascular sonographers use their tools to take 2-D and 3-D images of the heart, while musculoskeletal sonographers may use x-ray imaging to assess for broken bones or damage to nerves and tendons. Regardless of the specialization in sonography you focus on, you need to combine your knowledge of the body with your expertise of imaging technology.
Patient Communication and Care for Medical Diagnostic Sonography
Whether you take an ultrasound for a pregnancy or scan for obstructions in the organs, it can be a high stress situation for everyone. You must be able to carry yourself in a professional manner to make the scan as comfortable as possible for the patient. It’s important to explain the procedure to the patient, ease their fears, and answer their questions. But quality communication isn’t reserved just for patients. As a Sonographer, you work with doctors and other specialists who use the findings from your images to diagnose and prepare for any necessary operations or next steps. It is a collective effort to make sure your patients receive the care they deserve.
Are you interested in a healthcare career where you provide direct care and contribute to potential life-saving operations? Charter College’s Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography can provide you with the knowledge and technical skills to find an entry-level role in as few as 14 months. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.