One of the first steps people take before deciding on a career is reviewing educational and professional requirements, average salaries and employment opportunities. However, it is just as important to consider the ideal personal qualities that increase the chances of success while attending school and working. A Diagnostic Medical Sonography student who has the right personality qualities, and successfully completes his or her training and earns ARDMS registration, can enjoy an exciting career in the healthcare industry. Personal qualities include things like work styles, the ability to feel compassion and stress tolerance.
Sonographers must pay attention to details on the job, and the training requires the same characteristic. Producing sonographic images is a highly detailed process, and healthcare professionals rely on the results for diagnostic purposes. Sonographers cannot rush jobs or skip details during the analysis of the scans. There may also be a lot of variety in the day concerning the types of scans, patient needs, schedules and so on.
A List of Skills to Learn as a Sonography Student
Successful sonography students have good organizational skills. During training the will learn how well he or she can:
- Plan the details related to scheduling time and to balancing classes, clinical training and personal lives
- Follow instructions
- Be willing to devote as much time as necessary to learning and training
- Think critically during application of course work to the clinical setting
- Be flexible and able to adapt to clinical rotations
- Patiently study difficult material for many hours
A sonography student is adaptable and works independently. He or she is willing to exert whatever effort it takes to earn the certificate or degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. These are the same qualities needed once employed.
Propensity for Compassion
Sonographers must be compassionate because they are working with people who have a variety of medical issues. It is tempting to think of sonographers as primarily doing fetal scans under happy circumstances. In reality, patients include people with diseases of the organs like cancer and cardiovascular blockages. Sonographers frequently see emerge that indicate a serious medical problem. For example, scans of a fetus may reveal an unexpected abnormality. The sonographer needs to be able to look at the images and not express surprise or distress should an abnormality appear.
Many times scans must be re-taken based on the sonographer’s review of the just-completed images, so patience is required. At the same time, the sonographer must be good at encouraging patience in patients who have medical issues and only want to get back to their hospital room or go home. Understanding what the patient is feeling and being able to respond appropriately are critical to doing a good job.
Patients are often nervous and need a sonographer who is emotionally soothing. Sonographers do not diagnosis scans, but many times the patient already knows there is problem. A component of compassion is being sensitive to the patient’s needs while maintaining a professional demeanor.
Stress Tolerance Required
The heavy study and workloads and the challenges of dealing with medical conditions naturally create stress. Sonography is an intense discipline. It requires intense studying, intense clinical work shifts and can put pressure on personal lives. Learning to manage stress is important in order to maintain personal equilibrium.
It is also important because patients should believe they are receiving critical health services from a sonographer who is totally focused on the job at hand. Students attending a high quality CAAHEP accredited sonography program will balance an intense schedule of coursework and clinical training. This is good training for learning to manage feelings of stress. Sonographers must always remain calm and unemotional, and that is very difficult if stress is not managed well.
Understand All the Requirements
If interested in a sonography career, be sure to assess all aspects from a personal and professional stance. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an excellent career choice, and the field needs more ARDMS registered sonographers. It also needs people who are organized, compassionate, willing to work hard and can manage stress in school and on the job.