An ultrasound technician’s job does not begin and stop with an ultrasound. They have lots of other areas of responsibility. Having the ability to multi task is definitely a skill required as there will be lots of tasks in varying phases of the job scope. For example, you may have to explain procedures to a worried patient whilst accurately recording their personal medical information. Communication skills are imperative as a patient will need to understand what is being said and everyone has a different level of understanding directions and instructions. If you can convey the procedure in non-technical terms then you can really help a patient feel confident in your abilities and the procedure itself. Sometimes, just the sight of the machinery can be very intimidating!
Working closely with patients, doctors and other medical staff require sensitive handling at times and social skills are definitely a bonus in this field. Ultrasound is an area that can be emotional for some people, especially in pregnancy when hormones are high and the ultrasound might not bring good news about the fetus. An ultrasound technician also has to work on a practical level and learn about the different aspects of an ultrasound machine. Maintenance of the equipment as well as usage are everyday tasks that are vital to ensure smooth running of ultrasound equipment.
Decision also plays a key part in an ultrasound technician’s day routine. Once ultrasound pictures have been taken then it is important to keep the best images for the physicians to complete a diagnosis. Having an eye for detail will ensure high quality scan images are obtained and ready for diagnosis. This really is a key part of the job as poor quality or blurred images could result in a misdiagnosis. An ultrasound technician also needs to be able to understand and carry out a physician’s request, although a certain amount of flexibility is required, following instructions is vital to a good working relationship.
Management roles may also expand the career of an ultrasound technician and this requires supervisory skills as well as shift organization and other related essential clerical work. A little known skill or attribute that an ultrasound technician needs is perseverance. Sometimes it is necessary to manipulate a patient into a correct position to be able to adequately perform an ultrasound scan. This can be quite challenging and frustrating at times.
What does an ultrasound technician do? All in all, this is a skillful career that is very fulfilling in terms of job satisfaction and also one that allows an ultrasound technician the flexibility to work on their own initiatives as well as follow guidance and instructions.