The ultrasound technology industry depends on sophisticated technology to deliver the highest quality patient services. The reliance on technology does not change the fact that sonographers must also be good team players because they routinely work with a variety of healthcare professionals. Sonographers do not simply sit in a room with equipment. They must interact with physicians and nurses, radiology professionals and healthcare teams. Team players have certain qualities that make them successful.
Joining the Team
Read through the O*Net OnLine Summary Report for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. It is filled with descriptions and words that indicate the sonographer interacts regularly with other people.
- Under tasks – provide written summary of sonographic findings to physicians
- Under skills – active listening by paying close attention to what other people are saying; being aware of the reactions of others; talking to other to share information
- Under abilities – listen to information verbally presented by others, grasping the meaning of the information presented; communicate information to others; have problem sensitivity; absorb written information; use clear speech
- Under work activities – assisting others; getting information from others; communicating with co-workers, supervisors and subordinates; work directly with the public; establish interpersonal relationships
- Under work context – contact with others; work with team or work group
The sonographer spends a work shift interacting with individuals and patient care teams. Being a team player is a critical skill. It is possible to have excellent technical skills but lack people skills. The sonographer needs both sets of skills to do a good job. There is a great need for ultrasound imaging professionals who can work well with all types of people while using the skills learned in school.
Qualities of a Team Player
Hospitals, clinics and physician offices that get high marks for teamwork have a group of trained professionals that work well together to deliver the best patient care services possible. The Diagnostic Medical sonographer is an important member of the team and needs to have the people skills that make a good team player. A good team player is a person who carries a fair share of the workload and regularly contributes to the team effort.
Other qualities include:
- Being non-judgmental – The sonographer needs to assume the best about people, even when they do not seem to be carrying their fair share of the workload. People often have good reasons for being distracted or non-communicative at certain times of their lives.
- Offering encouragement to others – Help others by sharing knowledge, offering assistance or otherwise being helpful.
- Being a good communicator – Communicate information to team members as needed to ensure the patient gets the best health care possible.
- Put the team first – Teams only succeed when each person puts getting results above personal needs. Sometimes it may be necessary to volunteer to work an extra shift or to complete unpopular work duties. The team player never forgets the purpose of the work being conducted – to help patients.
- Maintain a positive attitude – No one appreciates a grouchy healthcare worker. It really is that simple.
- Learn to compromise – Compromising is not always easy, but it is important. It may be necessary to compromise over things like work schedules, team meeting times, work methods and so on. Each situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits.
- Be a coach or mentor – Help others new to the imaging department or assist co-workers who are struggling with some aspect of their work.
- Be reliable at all times – Show up for work and appointments on time. Complete all job duties with skill and accuracy, and never try to shirk responsibility or pass work on to others. Meet deadlines.
Being a sonographer is about so much more than producing sonographic images. Students often choose medical sonography as a career because they get to work with both people and technology. The people include medical imaging professionals, medical facility non-imaging staff, physicians, equipment vendors, patient review teams and many others.
Above all, anyone who decides to become an ultrasound technician must be a team player who appreciates the work styles of others. They learn from co-workers and supervisors. The sonographer works as a team player by adapting to people’s differences with ease, serving as a liaison for the good of the patient. Guiding the sonographer at all times is good judgment, acceptance of responsibility and appreciation for what others contribute to the team. Meet the requirements for being a team player, and expect to enjoy a fulfilling career.