A sonographer is someone who undertakes and reports diagnostic, screening or interventional ultrasound examinations.
The majority of sonographers start their career as Radiographers. Radiographers are Allied Health Professionals who have studied at university in Medical imaging. Ultrasound is one of many different types of imaging techniques. In fact approximately 90% of patients who visit a hospital will have to see a radiographer. This could be for an Xray, MRI, CT, ultrasound and nuclear medicine to name a few. Some sonographers may have also begun their career in women’s health such as midwifery.
Once they have spent 4 years at university they must practice as a professional for a few more years. This is to expand their skills and knowledge. This can be in a hospital or private clinic. To then specialise in Ultrasound Imaging and reporting they must return to university at a postgraduate level which usually another 2 years. Even after 5-7 years of study, the learning never really stops…. Once qualified, a Sonographer must keep up to date with current practices, guidelines, technology and scan techniques. Although we are never shocked by what we see, we do sometimes come across new and unusual cases!
We start early preparing the scan room with equipment and checking who’s booked in and for which type of scan.
Each time we meet a new patient we know that it could be a completely normal picture. We will scan through the organs documenting measurements and saving images to show what we have seen. Sadly we may see something unexpected which may change the dynamics of the scan. This can lead us into having a difficult and often upsetting discussion with the patient. Being able to pass on findings and support patients is a big part of our job.
Between each scan we construct a report documenting what the scan showed and pass this onto the referrer for them to fit the Ultrasound results into the overall clinical picture alongside other findings such as symptoms and blood test results. Sometimes we may have to make urgent calls to referrers to update them on findings and even make the occasional call for an ambulance if we find something life threatening.
With all the days scans performed and reports written up we give the room a thorough clean and tidy and check over the machine and its transducer’s (the part we hold) for any signs of damage or wear and tear. We sign out, remove our uniforms and shut down the scan machine ready for the next day’s sonographer.
If you have any questions about our scanning services or you would like to book an appointment at The Surrey Park Clinic please call us on 0800 049 6944 or alternatively you can book online.