When you turn your attention to sonography jobs, it’s highly likely the first image that pops into your mind is of a healthcare professional showing images of a fetus to expecting parents for the first time. There is of course, a lot of other roles within sonography, and necessary skills needed to get there.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the key skills needed to become a sonographer. Not specific educational certificates, but what specific skills you can expect to learn on these courses. Briefly though, sonography is usually taught at a post-graduate level. To qualify for a sonography course you’d usually need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in applied science.
Firstly, let’s have a closer look at the more technical side of sonography. Technical knowhow is a must in this field. Specifically, a thorough understanding of how to correctly operate medical machinery, image and pattern recognition (as there’s no point working the thing, if you can’t understand what it’s showing you), and a firm understanding of ultrasound physics.
In terms of medical knowledge, sonographers need to have an educational background that includes applied anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. The latter of these sounds awfully complicated, but what it means is, simply put, working out and recognising the abnormalities that can arise from a particular syndrome or disease. In other words, medical knowledge in this field is about knowing what to expect normally and how to also expect the unexpected.
The strengths of a sonographer lies in how they can combine this medical and technical knowledge. For example, you need to have the technical knowledge to set up proceedings for a scan that will be error free. When doing the scan you need to know how to identify what is happening in the imaging in real time. It is of the utmost importance that any abnormalities that are visible, are spotted at this stage. As often, ultrasounds are the first exploratory medical procedures that can take place. This is because it’s an unobtrusive procedure, unlike something such as exploratory surgery, which has a lot more risks attached to it.
In a more general sense, skills such as critical thinking and communication will go a long way in sonography. Critical thinking will help massively when it comes to relaying your findings in real time to patients, while all healthcare professionals need to have a good level of communication for them to succeed in their role.