Duties of Ultrasound Technologist and Sonographer
Sonographers are in charge of numerous duties and
responsibilities. One of them is taking patient records, particularly their
medical history, and briefing them on the imaging procedure. It is important
that the sonographer guide the patient to a proper posture for scanning so that
the corresponding body area can be scanned properly. A good foundation in human
anatomy is crucial in the practice of sonography.
In During the scanning process, high-tech equipment using
ultrasonic waves are used in order to take images of the different sections of
the body. Once these images are captured, they are forwarded to the attending
radiologist for analysis. Since most ultrasound machines have gone digital,
sending these images has been quicker and more efficient through computers of
different departments. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed by the radiologist,
the sonographer then relays to the patient the time at which he will be able to
acquire the radiologist’s report.
How often do sonographers get patient visits?
The patient population which visits the sonographer
usually depends on the kind of ultrasound imaging being done. A typical
ultrasound session may take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Based on this
figure, an 8-hour working day can yield around 8 to 10 patients.
In an ultrasound session, how many images are
The number of images to be captured will greatly
depend on the body area to be scanned and the discretion of the sonographer.
Typically, around 40 to 120 shots are taken in an ultrasound procedure.
Different fields in sonography will also have different imaging requirements.
For example, obstetrics usually requires around 40 to 120 images, while a
thyroid imaging will take something less.
Do sonographers work on-site or on-call between
different medical centers?
Sonographers usually just work in a single office,
although there may also be others who work “on-call” at clinics or hospitals for
a couple of days. Even if you are working in a hospital setting, you may still
work on-call in some occasions, and this usually warrants extra compensation.
To whom do sonographers report to?
For sonographers, a lead ultrasound technician will
usually function as their manager, who performs supervisory tasks and ultrasound
imaging duties as well. For experienced sonographers who have served in the
profession for a considerable amount of time, the position of a lead ultrasound
technician can be very suitable.
What exactly do sonographers look for in scanned
Once sonographers acquire the necessary images, it
will be their duty to determine if the organ or organs involved are healthy or
if they gave any symptoms of abnormalities. They usually check to see if the
organs are within the normal thresholds, like in size and shape. In obstetrics,
the recognition of abnormalities in an unborn baby can help eliminate or
minimize any risky circumstances. Sonographers also check the shading of the
organs they are scanning. All organs have a pre-determined “shade of gray”, and
they can be able to determine whether their color is within normal range or not.
How are ultrasound images processed for
submission to the requesting physician?
Once scanning has been done, the resulting images
are first forwarded to a radiologist for analysis and certification. It will
then be the radiologist’s duty to arrange a report that will be analyzed by the
attending physician before finally being relayed to the patient.
In processing scanned images, a sonographer usually
need not to affix his signature. This is due to the policy that the
responsibility for the images rests in the hands of the radiologist. In essence,
it is the radiologist that ultimately makes the final call in the analysis
they’ve concluded based on the acquired ultrasound images.