Sonography Week (October 2-6) is an opportunity to recognize and promote the profession of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) which plays a vital role in the care and treatment of community members.
Sonographers are medical detectives. They use their ultrasound training, technical skills, and understanding of the human body and its systems to decide if structures are normal or abnormal and adapt their investigation as they find clues throughout an examination. This information is then used by doctors to determine the necessary treatment or next steps for the patient.
A sonographer uses an instrument called a transducer or probe on a patient over the area of the body under investigation. The probe emits high-frequency sound which is inaudible to the human ear. As the probe is moved around it records echoes as sound waves bounce back to the ultrasound machine to determine size, shape and consistency of soft tissues. This information is relayed in real-time to produce images on a computer screen.
The quality of an ultrasound exam is very dependent on the skills of the sonographer who completed the scan. If they are not a great detective who takes in all the evidence and finds all the clues, then it is difficult to solve the case. As well, no two cases are ever the same, so a sonographer’s day is never dull.
Sonography is a growing, dynamic profession and sonographers are in demand in hospitals, medical imaging clinics and tertiary healthcare facilities. Many sonographers are also employed as educators, application specialists or sales representatives with medical equipment manufacturing firms, or as researchers.
Did you know?
The sonography programs in Canada vary in focus and length. Individuals can be trained in three areas: generalist, cardiac or vascular sonography. For more information and a list of accredited training programs, visit the Sonography Canada website: https://sonographycanada.ca/
Most sonographers LOVE ultrasound and love talking about it, so next time you come across one of these allied health professionals, ask them about their dynamic career.