What Does An Ultrasound Technician Do?

As medical technology continues to evolve, sophisticated medical equipment has greatly improved the way diseases are being diagnosed. One of the improvements that have made huge strides in diagnosing the conditions of patients is the invention of imaging equipment known as the ultrasound machine. Through the images produced by this equipment, doctors have the ability to see what is happening to a patient’s internal organs.

Ultrasound technicians or sonographers are tasked with carrying out the imaging procedure on the patient following the orders of a doctor. Depending on what their field of specialization is, they may image the organs in the abdomen like the gallbladder, liver, kidney and spleen or determine if there are tumors in the breast. They may also image the muscles, tendons and joints or get images of the brain and the spinal cord. Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers get sonograms of the fetus as it develops inside a woman’s belly.

An ultrasound equipment is the diagnostic machine that ultrasound technicians are trained to use expertly. It has a transducer that can capture the echoes emitted by the organ being examined. Different organs of the body produce different kinds of echoes. These echoes are then interpreted by the ultrasound machine which produces the images on the computer screen. The images will then be interpreted by the doctor to determine if there are cysts, tumors and other medical conditions that will necessitate further treatment or even surgery.

Before ultrasound technicians carry out the entire imaging procedure, they see to it that the patient fully understands what will happen. They explain what parts will be imaged and that the gel which is smeared to the transducer can at first feel cool to the skin. They will answer any concerns and questions that the patient will have about the procedure before carrying it out.

Since attending doctors normally order ultrasound procedures when they suspect that a patient is suffering from a particular disease, ultrasound technicians may have to assist patients if they need to position themselves differently for them to get a better view of the organ or body part being examined. They will also obtain the patient’s medical history and file these in the patient’s records.

After taking the images, ultrasound technicians then analyze it and provide a reading of the result. They are trained to determine what a normal and healthy organ looks like compared to one that isn’t. They would then provide the physician who ordered the test with a summary of the findings. They would also keep a file of the findings following the policies of the healthcare facility. If the doctor wants to get more images of a particular organ or wants to get another look at it from a different angle, the ultrasound technician will perform another imaging procedure to comply with the request.

Ultrasound technicians are tasked with caring for and maintaining the imaging equipment. They see to it that it is fully functional before the patient arrives in the imaging laboratory. They also ensure that supplies like the gel used for the transducer and towels used to clean the part of the patient’s body smeared with the gel are complete before the next patient arrives in the room. Ultrasound technicians also have to calibrate the equipment after each procedure and clean the examining table so as to get it ready for the next patient.

Career Spotlight: Ultrasound Technician

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