The manager of the sonography department supervises and directs the work of the ultrasound tech for conducting ultrasound tests. Some tests could be for the purpose of general diagnostics while others could be surgical or obstetrical in nature. A typical day as an ultrasound technician involves many responsibilities.
The technician usually starts his or her day by preparing examination rooms for conducting the tests. They talk to the doctors of patients regarding the medical history of their charges and the sonography procedures to be performed. They give the patients instructions before the examination is conducted. They position patients on examining tables and provide them with adequate protection as per the set safety standards. They operate the ultrasound machine for performing the tests as per the orders of the physician. The proper use of the machine is one of the main requirements. They calibrate as well as adjust the device. They choose the right diameter of the transducer as well as frequency for every examination before it is performed. Then the ultrasound examinations are performed.
An ultrasound expert also uses devices such as oscilloscopes, video recorders and cameras for collecting images. These visual representations would then serve as permanent records of examinations. He examines the pictures for determining if anything is wrong with the patient. In case of detection of an abnormal anatomy, the range of the test is extended. The technician prepares the diagnostic medical report after the scan and contributes their specialized knowledge to it. He then enters the billing fees into a computerized system.
The technician also provides technical help for biopsy procedures and surgical aspiration. When needed they are even able to provide First Aid or perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation to patients. They see to it that the ultrasound room is kept clean and ensure that the levels of supply are adequate. They take suitable steps for keeping the equipment and work areas orderly and clean. They demonstrate skill and clinical knowledge in taking care of patients, be they newborns or elderly patients. They maintain a daily record of appointments, procedures performed, a monthly record and chart of all the scans that were performed in the sonography department. They keep account of the service calls for the equipment, specific services that were performed and the parts that were repaired or replaced.
Ultrasound technicians establish good work relations with other members of the staff. They refer outside agencies and physician’s offices. They recommend action to be taken to improve the performance of the department. They evaluate new equipment and products. They demonstrate the proper use of ultrasound equipment for visitors and staff. They give training to new technicians and could be involved in the education of other members of the staff and research projects.
Do you know how much an ultrasound expert can earn in your state or even your city? Check the ultrasound technician salary to get the answer.
The process of scanning involves the use of advanced equipment. Ultrasonic waves help to take images of different parts of the patient’s body. On capturing the ultrasound images, they are sent to the concerned radiologist who analyses them. As most of the ultrasound machines now work on digital technology, sending the images is more efficient and quicker through the computers of the different departments. When the radiologist confirms the diagnosis, the sonographer informs the patient as to when they would get the report of the radiologist.
The numbers of patients that visit the ultrasound technician vary as per the type of imaging that is performed. Usually an ultrasound procedure would last anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. As per this figure, a working day that spans 8 hours would yield approximately 8 – 10 patients. The quantity of pictures captured would vary as per the part of the body that is being scanned as well as the judgment. Generally, 40 -120 images are taken while a procedure is in progress. The different fields in ultrasound will have different requirements with regard to images. For instance, obstetrics would require 40 – 120 images but thyroid imaging would require less numbers of images.
Ultrasound jobs are not only found in hospitals. Typically, people who graduated from ultrasound technician schools will work in one office, at hospitals or clinics “on call” for a few days. Those who are employed in hospitals might still have to work on call sometimes. This would result in extra income. A lead sonographer would function as manager for a group of sonographers. Such a person would perform imaging duties as well as supervisory tasks. Lead sonographers tend to be experienced professionals who have been in the field for a long period. These technicians are more likely to earn high salaries. Therefore, it is very rewarding to become an ultrasound technician especially a well-experienced one.
When ultrasound technologists acquire necessary images, they have to determine whether the organs targeted are normal or show signs of abnormalities. They check if the organs show normal shape and size. In obstetrics recognizing abnormalities in unborn babies help to minimize or eliminate risky circumstances. The shading of organs is also checked during the scanning process. All organs tend to have a set grey shade. The are able to determine if the color of the organs is normal or not.
When the procedure of scanning is complete, the ultrasound pictures are sent to the concerned radiologist who analyses and then certifies them. It is the duty of the radiologist to prepare a report. The concerned physician would analyze this report and then inform the patient. When the scanned images are processed, the ultrasound tech does not put his signatures to them because as per policy, the radiologist is responsible for all the images taken. The radiologist is the one who decides the concluding analysis as per the ultrasound images that are acquired.
An ultrasound technician typically works 8 hours a day. They conduct a number of ultrasound procedures on patients. Most of their work involves outpatient scans like vascular, obstetric, abdominal and pelvic scans. Some scans might take just 15 minutes while some could last 1 ½ hours. They decide which pictures to show radiologists. Throughout the day, they interact with patients, their families, radiologists, management, other technologists, physicians and also nurses. As you can see if you are a people’s person, you will make a success of your career as an ultrasound tech.
Taking the right ultrasound tech programs will definitely expand your career opportunities, boost your job search, help you climb the career ladder. Learn How to Select Ultrasound Technician Schools before visiting any school.
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