Ultrasound technicians use ultrasound machines that utilize high frequency sound waves and their echoes to obtain anatomical images. Technicians may scan children, adults and/or animals depending on the needs of their position. Ultrasounds are used to scan patients for potential diseases and to monitor current heath conditions; they are also used in routine maternity checkups. For example, they may use the ultrasound to display the anatomy of fetuses, to check organs such as the liver for masses, to scan for kidney stones, or to check the heart for problems. The images are then sent to a doctor along with a written or oral report for further analysis. The technician should also be able to recommend if further scanning will be necessary to monitor or detect a health condition. The ultrasound technician may also determine if extra scanning is needed if the images produced in a scan are not clear enough. Additionally, the technician must be able to answer any patient questions before, during, and after the ultrasound.
Ultrasound technicians generally undergo relevant education, training and certification in order to be able to operate ultrasound equipment. Currently, technicians need to be able to perform 2D and 3D ultrasounds. Interpersonal skills are also necessary to provide comfort for the patient. A high degree of both written and oral communication skills are needed to communicate with medical staff, reporting results and coordinating any additional scans.
Ultrasound Technician Tasks
Prepare and position patient for ultrasound exam and explain procedure.
Process and code film, videotape, images or prints from procedures and complete documentation for interpretation by physician.
Operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images according to physician's directive.
Observe screen during scan to ensure satisfactory image for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments as required.