The tips in this section are easier to put in to practice as they are more focused on what you are doing, rather than the emotional state of the patient.
Empathy is when you understand and share your patient’s feelings. It is the core trait of great bedside manner, and also one of the hardest to put into practice. These tips can help you express empathy toward your patients.
You interact with a lot of patients on a daily basis as an ultrasound technician. Having a positive bedside manner can be a tough skill to learn, and in the end it will help you communicate with your patients and advance your career. There is no shame in being well-liked!]]>
Modern ultrasound equipment usually consists of a transducer probe and a computer. The transducer probe is used to emit radio frequencies, which then bounce back to it, which then translates an image to the computer connected to it and is projected on the screen. Additionally, modern advancements have allowed ultrasound technicians to not only take pictures of these ultrasounds, but also conduct 3D ultrasounds that give a vivid account of the fetus. Modern advancements have also made “4D ultrasounds” a reality, which allows for videos of 3D ultrasounds. These impart the viewer with the most lush imaging of a baby previous to being born.
The advent of 3D and 4D imaging is able to take place due to volumetric ultrasounds. There are many diseases that require comprehensive imaging to locate abnormalities. Certain kinds of cancer can be detected through these ultrasounds, namely because they can pick up on pockets of cells that are overly dense or otherwise unusual. These volumetric ultrasounds can also pick up on differences in one’s thyroid nodule, lymph nodes, and even lumps that characterize breast and prostate cancer. One of the particularities concerning breast cancer is the difficulty detecting certain tumors in women with dense breasts when using mammogram equipment. Automated breast ultrasounds are more comprehensive than mammograms, which is how it’s found to be an effective tool for locating this specific type of cancer or abnormality.
As new technologies are implemented and things become increasingly digital, it’s going to allow ultrasound computers and other equipment to become smaller and more portable. This lends itself to open up the avenues available for the technology to have other uses, particularly in such circumstances as for paramedics in emergencies and combat scenarios in which it can be difficult to quickly assess what is wrong.
One of the most notable benefits of ultrasound technology evolving is the more widespread application it has. As a safer alternative to x-rays due to not emitting any radiation, practitioners can administer ultrasounds on a more regular basis, and for longer increments, without having to fear about exposing patients to harmful radiation levels. There are many useful applications of ultrasounds, this just being one of them, and it’s good to know technology is finally being developed that won’t expose individuals to potentially harmful levels of radiation.
The field of ultrasonography is growing rapidly not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of pay. With more “Baby Boomers” becoming concerned with preventative measures, ultrasounds are increasing in popularity greatly, which is expanding the number of jobs available and the pay associated with the positions. Being adept with technology, and this includes smartphones and tablets, can be the factor to set you apart from your peers and open up unique job opportunities. With these factors in mind, there’s never been a better time to get involved in becoming an ultrasound technician and educating yourself on the latest technologies.
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We here at Online Ultrasound Schools have created the following infographic to show some of the major statistics on teen pregnancy in America, while highlighting of the more significant negative consequences. While teen pregnancy rates have declined over the years, it is still a social and economic problem that needs to be addressed. The first step to reducing teen pregnancy rates, abortions, and the amount of single teen mothers is to recognize the facts.
To embed the infographic to your blog or website, please copy and paste the code below:]]>
Ultrasound was first researched in 1790 when Italian biologist Lozzaro Spallanzani researched how bats were able to maneuver without sight. He disovered that they had an internal radar that allowed them to use high frequency sound as their way of navigating.
In 1826, physiscist/engineer Jean-Daniel Colladon used an underwater bell to accurately determine the speed of sound in water.
Pierre Currie was able to find the breakthrough needed to create the first ultrasound transducer, in 1881, when he found the connection between electrical voltage and pressure on crystalline material. We still use the crystalline material lead zircinate titinate in modern day transducers.
Not only was the historical sinking of the ship Titanic turned into a blockbuster film, it also lead to the invention of the very first ultrasound transudcer.This transducer called the “hydrophone” was developed after the ship’s sinking to detect icebergs. The “hydrophone” was later used in World War I to detect submarines.
Dr. Karl Dussik, a psychiatrist, first used ultrasound for medical purposes to attempt to detect brain tumors in his patients in the 1930’s. Later, ultrasound would be used on animals to test how it traveled through soft tissue, muscles, and organs by Dr. George Ludwig in the late 1940’s.
During World War II, Professor Ian Donald became interested in radar and sonar. In the 1950’s,when a woman presented to him with inoperable stomach cancer, he used his equipment to discover that she had an ovarian cyst which was later safely removed. He was also able to detect a twin pregnancy. Prof. Donald became the father of obstetric ultrasound.
In 1953, a cardiologist named Inge Edler along with a graduate student in Nuclear Physics named Carl Hellmuth Hertz at Lund University in Sweden,were able to detect and measure heart activity using barrowed ultrasound equipment from a ship builder.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, in order to perform and ultrasound scan on a patient, the patient had to be submerged in water in order to produce an image. At that time, the transducer being used was not in direct contact with the patient. Being that there is a large difference in the speed of sound in air and the speed of sound in soft tissue, having the patient submerged in water allowed the ultrasound to penetrate the body. Douglas Howry and Joseph Holmes improved the technology of the transducer allowing it to be used in direct contact with the patient which lead to the ultrasound pictures common in today’s technology. However, a water based gel is still applied to the patient’s skin to be used as a coupling medium that allows the ultrasound beam to enter the body.
Throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s, and continuing on into the new millenium ultrasound has continued to advance with the developement of 2D gray scale imaging, doppler, color flow doppler, and 3D imaging. Not to mention the addition of using contrast agents to further improve the diagnostic quality of images. Today, ultrasound is the second most commonly used medical imaging modality. Due to the fact that most ultrasound exams are non-invasive, cost less than many other medical tests, and that it serves as a way to avoid unnecessary surgeries, there is ongoing research and new methods applied to ultrasound technology to further it’s use and accuracy.]]>
Many schools will advertise that they are fully accredited and can show you a whole bunch of certificates on the wall to prove it. However, the accreditation that a school needs to obtain so that they can keep their doors open and charge you tuition, may not be the same accreditation that will help you become a registered sonographer. Depending on the state, many schools can offer a sonography program without having an accredited sonography program. So, what does this mean? It means that once you have completed an ultrasound program from a school without an accredited program you cannot take your registry exams without at least one year of paid clinical ultrasound experience. It also means that potential employers have no way of knowing how worthwhile your education in sonography is. In other words, this can make finding a job much more difficult.
So what accreditation should your ultrasound program have? Your sonography program should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs, also known as CAAHEP. The easiest way to find out if the school you are interested in has an accredited sonography program is to go to CAAHEP’s website and do a search. When you search on CAAHEP’s website, select “Diagnostic Medical Sonography” then select your concentration and see all the schools that are accredited in your state, which can be helpful if you discover that the school you are interested in is not accredited.
The field of sonography is an evolving field. Thirty years ago there were no schools that offered sonography, a technician was trained on the job. Sonography has become so advanced and is used in so many different practices accross medicine that the demand for sonographers is on the rise. However, this also means that having a valuble education and being a “registered” sonographer is imperative. In the near future,sonographers will not only be required to be registered but have a Bachelor’s degree as well. Accreditation by CAAHEP ensures that the sonography program you are enrolled in is meeting the standard education requirements for your field. Schools that are accredited need to be up to date with their curriculum, teaching methods, technology, staffing, and clinical requirements you will need to be a well trained sonographer and sit for your registry exams upon graduating. Asking a school if their sonography program is accredited is the number one question that you should ask before anything else to ensure that you will receive the best education possible.]]>
Although there millions of things in our lives that stress us that we cannot plan or control, there are things that you can do to keep your stress levels down.
Stress is a part of life. However, learning how to manage what makes you stressed can make a difference in you mental and physical health. For more information on stress and stress management please visit the following websites:
So, what can you see with ultrasound? Ultrasound can be used to assess the size, function, blood flow, and abnormalities on many organs and soft tissue. It can be used to see cysts, tumors, stones and other abnormal pathology in the body. Ultrasound can also be used to assist in procedures such as Ultrasound guided biopsies in which a doctor uses ultrasound to guide a needle into an area where he or she would like to take a tissue sample from. Ultrasound can even be used on your pets! Some of the things that Ultrasound can image are:
So what is ultrasound and how does it work? Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves (sound waves beyond the frequency that humans can hear) that travel through the body then return to the Ultrasound machine to produce an image. The technology used in Ultrasound is based on the technology used in Radar and Sonar. A technician holds a small wand with a gel on it to the area on the patient’s body that is being imaged and the wand sends and receives the sound waves. It is painless and in most cases requires no needles or contrast agents to be administered. The benefit of using ultrasound to image the body is that it does not expose the patient to radiation like X-Ray and CT scans do. Ultrasounds can be more cost effective in some situations as well.
Ultrasound technology continues to become more and more advanced. Though ultrasound uses the simple mechanics of sound waves to produce an image, over the years the clarity of these images have greatly improved and additonal technology, such as 3D, has been utilized to optimize these images and how they can be used. This allows for more accuracy and can prevent a patient from having to have more invasive procedures.
So now that you know a little more about ultrasound, spread the word that ultrasound is not just for pregnancy!
Here are some websites with more information on ultrasound:
For starters, what exactly is a heart disease? Although there are many types of heart disease, it mainly refers to Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) which is the type that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack is caused by the heart muscle not receiving enough oxygen to be able to pump properly. This is caused by a blockage (usually a blood clot) in the coronary arteries which are the blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Although most people view a heart attack as sudden event, coronary artery disease develops over a long period of time. Over time cholesterol, fat, and other substances build up in the walls of the coronary arteries causing plaque to form which makes the blood vessels hard and narrow. If the plaque breaks it can cause a blood clot to form which will then obstruct blood from getting to the heart muscle. The part of the heart muscle fed by the blocked artery will begin to weaken and eventually die if blood flow is not restored. The reason why some heart attacks are fatal and some are not is because it depends on where the blockage or blockages are and what parts of the heart muscle is being affected.
One of the factors that contributes to the high rate of heart related deaths in women is that a woman’s symptoms of a heart attack can be much different that those of a man. According to the American Heart Association, the symptoms that a woman may experience during a heart attack are: Chest pain or pressure that may come and go, pain in one or both arms, jaw, neck, or stomach pain that can mimic indigestion, shortness of breath, breaking in to a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. Needless to say, some of these symptoms are very general and may not trigger one to realize that they are having a heart attack.
Another factor in the high number of women with heart disease is that heart disease has had a stigma of being a “man’s disease.” Most of the initial research done on heart disease was focused on men. It was not until the 1980’s that heart disease research began to focus on women. We all know that men and women are very different in many ways and therefore women can present differently with heart disease.
Although the statistics can seem grim, there are plenty of things that woman can do to reduce there risk. Maintaining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the first line of defense. Being proactive with your health is key. This means knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. If they are not within normal limits, work with your doctor to improve them. If you have a history in your family of someone having heart disease before the age of 55, this may put you at a greater risk for heart disease. Talking to your doctor about your risk factors and how you can prevent heart disease is a great start to minimizing your risk for heart disease.
Below are some helpful websites and videos that provide information on women’s heart disease.
Every student’s externship experience is a little different. Depending on the size of the facility, the number of patients they see, and the size of their staff can affecet how much time you get to scan and what role you will play as an extern. For instance, a busy facility with a high patient volume but small staff may not be able to provide you with much time to scan as a facility with a lower patient volume. No matter which facility you end up in, you need to be proactive in taking away all that you can from your experience. This means that even when you are not scanning a patient that you are observing studies, taking notes, and asking questions. When you are scanning a patient ask for feedback and advice for how you can improve your skills.
Being professional at all times during your externship is very important. Although you may not be getting paid to be there, you should think of it as a job. Showing up on time and dressing appropriately show that you care and you want to be there. When communicating with patients always introduce yourself and do as much as possible to make them comfortable. Also, offer to help out the staff that you are working with. Whether it be filling gel bottles or stocking supplies, make yourself available to help out. This will show that you take an interest in what you are doing and want to make the most of your time.
The key point to remember while you are on your externship is that you are there to learn. Your school may assign you certain tasks to complete on your externship such as getting images of certain pathology. Do all that you can to complete these assignments and if you need help, ask the techicians you are working with to help you. Ultilize the people around you as they have been in your shoes and are now in their career. Even if you are at a very busy facility, try to pick a time of day, such as at lunch or at the end of the day to go over things that you have questions about. If you feel that you are not provided these opportunities and you are not getting all that you should from your externship, be sure to contact your school and make them aware of the situation. Keep in mind that part of your tuition is being paid to these facilites to have you there as an extern so you deserve to get the best experience possible.
Your ultrasound externship is your stepping stone to starting a rewarding career in the field of ultrasound. Be sure to make the most of the opportunity to ensure a great start to your career.]]>
Online education will continue to grow and expand to meet the high demands. Going to school online can offer education to those who would otherwise not be able to attend a brick and mortar school. Although, as with a traditional school, it will still take time, effort, and an eagerness to learn to be successful.]]>