Skills for a Sonographer
Before applying to school to train to become a sonographer, you may want to take a look at some of the skills required to become a sonographer. If you don’t have these skills now, then as long as you’re ready to learn you should do fine as a sonographer. Since those skilled as sonographers are in high demand, now is a good time to consider training for a new career.
During an average day you will need to communicate with many people – primarily patients, co-workers, and physicians. You will need to make notes regarding the patient’s sonogram and any observations you may have. You need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with everyone you come in contact with. If you need some assistance in this area then you may want to consider taking a few English courses through your local community college.
As a sonographer you will meet daily with patients to perform ultrasounds, and it is important that you can make them feel at ease while you do your job. You need to be able to explain the procedure and help them feel comfortable. While you can talk to the patient about what you are scanning, you cannot at any time mention a diagnosis, as this is the responsibility of the overseeing physician. So as a sonographer you need to strike a delicate balance between information and confidentiality.
You’ll receive most of your training from your sonography courses, but it is a good idea to have some basic keyboarding and computer skills. You may be requested to write reports or you may have to follow up by email with physicians and other health workers. Again, college or night classes in basic computer skills can help you feel more comfortable.
Time Management Skills
Diagnostic imaging is a busy part of any hospital or care center, so you need to be able to make the most out of every day. You need to be able to perform scans on people quickly, but thoroughly, as you won’t help anyone if something gets missed. Additionally you will need to find time to complete paperwork, ensure that patient charts are returned to the right place, and be able to squeeze in last-minute emergency scans. All in all it can be hectic, but at least it’s not boring!
Attention to Detail
Each time you take an ultrasound you need to bring your “A” game – no slacking and no hurrying through it. If you don’t do your best every single time you are putting a person’s well being at risk, so every scan you take needs to be your best. There is no room for error as a sonographer, so you should have a keen attention to detail to be good at this job.
Willingness to Learn
Even though sonograms have been in use for many years, they are now being used for different purposes – like cardiology. As the way sonograms are used and the technology advances you need to be willing to keep up with the times and learn along with it. This will make you a more valuable employee, and it will make you better at your job. If you don’t like to learn new things then perhaps this isn’t the best job for you.
Most of these skills can be learned if needed, but you are definitely better suited to become a sonographer if you already have some of these skills. Get started now and in just two years you can have a very rewarding and fun career.