4 Great Traits of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Skills to help sonographers succeed!

Diagnostic medical sonographers provide ultrasounds for patients each day. They help prepare and comfort patients during the exams and play an essential role in identifying normal or abnormal findings.  While the doctors are responsible for the final diagnosis, diagnostics medical sonographers can provide helpful input to doctors and other medical staff.

If you’re curious what it’s like to become a diagnostic medical sonographer, you may want to know the essential qualities needed for this career path. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t possess the characteristics just yet. A diagnostic medical sonography training program can help you develop all the skills and specialties you need to become a professional sonographer. The following skills and traits are helpful if you choose this career path.

1. Attention to detail

Sonographers need to be detail-oriented since they need to accurately assess and identify any problems in a patient’s ultrasound. Paying attention to precise details while operating ultrasound equipment is necessary because the differences between a healthy and an unhealthy area may be subtle. If you become a sonographer, you will need to follow specific instructions called scanning protocols. The protocols are the steps you need to follow to take accurate images and capture all the information the doctor will need to make a diagnosis.

2. Interpersonal skills

As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you’ll be working directly with patients all day. First you will have to help them prepare for an exam and you may have to explain procedures to them. Next, you will have to use hands-on care while performing the ultrasound upon a patient’s specific body part. Sometimes you may have to help turn patients who have disabilities. It’s important to be patient, courteous, and gentle when performing ultrasounds on patients so they are comfortable. You will also have to communicate clearly with physicians and other healthcare staff who assist patients.

3. Physical stamina

Diagnostic medical sonographers are on their feet most of the day. In this career, you may be standing at ultrasound monitors during exams and surgeries. You may be attending to many different patients throughout a long shift. This requires physical stamina. Sonographers need to stay alert so they can properly assess ultrasound images and attend to patients. An externship in your training program can help train you to stay alert and productive during a long shift.

4. Tech-savvy

Diagnostic medical sonographers work with ultrasound machines—or high-frequency imaging equipment—every day. In this role, you will have to understand how to operate ultrasound equipment and computerized instruments. This technology can be complex to operate. When you enter a training program, you can take courses on how to properly use, maintain, and adjust these specialized tools. You will also need a willingness to work with computerized systems. If you have a desire to work with technology, this could be a natural career path for you!

These qualities can help make you a successful diagnostic medical sonographer. Before entering this training program, you should also have a keen desire to help patients and assist in a crucial role in the healthcare world. We hope this guide gives you a good idea of the skills you need to develop to become a diagnostic medical sonographer.


The American College for Medical Careers (ACMC) offers diagnostic medical sonographer training programs as well as a cardiovascular sonography training program and online sonography bridge courses. If you want more information.