Ultrasound technicians make a world of difference!
In the healthcare industry, doctors and nurses are obviously very important, but did you know there are dozens and dozens of other professionals working in this field as well? And just like doctors and nurses, all of them are very important to keeping our medical system running smoothly every day and serving patients with the best quality healthcare possible.
October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness month, and this article looks at the role of the Ultrasound Technician and the important contributions they make to the field of medicine and healthcare.
What is an ultrasound technician?
To begin, what is an ultrasound technician? Ultrasound technicians—also called sonographers—are medical professionals trained to operate special equipment to create images that doctors can then use for diagnosing an illness or condition. There are many different types of ultrasound technicians, depending on how they specialize. Two of the main types are Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, who focus largely on the abdominal areas, and Cardiovascular Sonographers, who focus on the heart and circulatory system.
How do ultrasound technicians make a difference?
Sonographers make it possible for doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions using the best detection methods available. As technology improves, ultrasound provides better and better information that can truly save lives! Look at some of things that doctors can do thanks to ultrasound images:
- Measure the size and monitor the growth of a fetus
- Check for abnormalities in a fetus
- Perform procedures on the fetus in utero
- Detect ovarian masses and other abnormalities in the female reproductive tract
- Examine the heart to look for abnormalities in shape or size
- Detect abnormalities in the valves and chambers of the heart
- Measure blood flow through the heart (through echocardiography or ECG)
- Diagnose arterial and venous disease throughout the body
- Detect blood clots, such as in deep vein thrombosis
- Carry out biopsies and procedures guided by ultrasound
- Guide the injection of anesthetics before and during a procedure
- View images of the abdomen, including the pancreas, liver, gall bladder, spleen, bladder, and kidneys
- Assess issues in the head and neck region, including the thyroid and lymph nodes
What is the difference between ultrasound and X-ray?
Both ultrasound and x-ray are imaging techniques that can give doctors a lot of information. Generally speaking, x-rays are used for hard tissues and structures, such as bones. Ultrasound, on the other hand, is usually better with soft tissue structures such as your body’s organs and muscles.
What is Ultrasound Awareness?
October is designated as Ultrasound Awareness month to raise awareness of this important imaging technology and the technicians who make it possible. Ultrasound technicians work hard every day to deliver important imaging information to doctors in obstetrics, gynecology, cardiology, oncology, and other specialties. But unlike doctors, they typically do not have the time to get to see their patients beyond performing the ultrasound. So, next time you are scheduled for an ultrasound, be sure to thank your technician! They will be glad you noticed!
The American College for Medical Careers trains tomorrow’s diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular sonographers. Learn more about our programs by contacting us online. Your future career path could begin at ACMC!