What makes an ultrasound technician great rather than just good? A great sonographer is not just well-trained. The great sonographer can apply training with great skill and accuracy in a variety of cases while using people skills. As sonography becomes an increasingly important player in the administration of healthcare services in 2017, the top-rated ultrasound technicians will be in great demand. Following are some of the qualities that differentiate a good sonographer from a great one.
Recognizing a Great Ultrasound Technician
Choosing a career as an ultrasound technician brings many benefits. The student who makes it through an accredited program and earns ARDMS registration has the skills and knowledge needed to do a good job. However, doing a good job and being a great sonographer are two different things.
For example, a good ultrasound technician works well with a variety of people. A great sonographer uses people skills to calm worried patients, easing anxiety and making people believe they are in competent hands. A good sonographer can read and interpret doctor instructions. A great sonographer listens carefully to what the patient has to say and matches what is heard with what is written in order to deliver the best ultrasound images.
Going the Extra Mile
Some people regularly go the extra mile on the job. They go beyond what is expected and always perform at a top level based on their specific skills and experience level. Following are just some of the ways to recognize a great ultrasound technician.
Insists on Highest Quality Training – attends a CAAHEP accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program because it offers the highest quality training program that meets strict standards in the classroom and throughout clinical training; during program attendance will strive to gain as much knowledge as possible
Exceptional People Skills – has excellent listening skills and can extract necessary information (read between the lines) to guide the type of images needed for an accurate diagnosis. firm but very patient with people experiencing a variety of medical conditions; compassionate and possesses a degree of emotional stability that enables the technician to manage personal stress in a way that does not interfere with the ability to work with patients.
Strong Technical Skills – able to apply diagnostic skills with great accuracy while using the ultrasound equipment; can use a variety of ultrasound modes as relevant to the job, including continuous wave Doppler, 2-D and 3-D, and others.
Lifelong Learner – always stays current on new research in the field of sonography; takes more continuing education courses than required to maintain ARDMS registration; stays current on new imaging procedures and applications.
Embraces New Technology – enjoys learning new technology; always willing to learn new techniques; takes the initiative to keep up-to-date on technological advances so able to more easily adapt to new equipment, like mobile scanners, as they come into regular use.
Very Time Efficient – excellent manager of personal time; always on time for work; sensitive to other people’s time.
Excellent Communication Skills – communicates in a clear and precise manner with patients and their family members, co-workers, supervisors, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.
Strong work values – gives full measure every work day, never shirking responsibilities and always being willing to work collaboratively and do what needs to be done; maintains strong mental acumen no matter what is going on in the sonographer’s life.
Uses Good Judgment in All Circumstances
One of the most important qualities of a great sonographer is the ability to use judgment on a case-by-case basis to produce ideal results. The ultrasound technician never knows what will appear while taking images. The sonographer needs the ability to use good judgment as to whether it is necessary to:
- Take additional images
- Adjust the sonographic imaging equipment
- Immediately notify the physician when a life-threatening condition is detected
- Take scans of organs or tissues not directly ordered but based on imaging results
- Focus on small abnormalities that may or may not be health threatening
An ultrasound technician can be good or great. Both are appreciated, but those who strive to be the very best bring the highest quality imaging services to healthcare.