Sonography is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound exam.
What does a sonographer do?
A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are then used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. The sonographic process involves placing a small device called a transducer against the patient's skin near the body area to be imaged. The transducer works like a loudspeaker and microphone because it can transmit and receive sound. It sends a stream of high-frequency sound waves into the body, then detects the sound waves as they bounce off internal structures. Different structures in the body reflect these sound waves differently. The reflected sound waves are analyzed by a computer to make an image of the structure(s) on a monitor or that can be recorded on hard copy images.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Echocardiographers are responsible for creating diagnostic images of various anatomical structures for interpretation by a physician. The images created by sonographers help aid physicians and surgeons in diagnosing and treating numerous disease processes. Sonographers are trusted members of the healthcare team and are relied upon to obtain diagnostic images that will allow physicians to provide the best possible care for their patients.
Some responsibilities of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Echocardiographers include the following:
- Preparing and explaining the procedure to patients.
- Maintaining and operating sonography equipment to obtain optimal images.
- Analyzing and correlating the lab results and other imaging studies performed.
- Recognizing normal anatomy, anatomical variants, and pathological conditions found during the exam.
- Writing impressions of the findings of the exam for physicians.
- Managing the facility’s electronic health records system.
- Providing direct patient care.