What is an Ultrasound?

What is an ultrasound?” is a fairly common question that many first-time mothers ask, and it is also the topic you’ll address on your first day of ultrasound technician training as well. In this post, we’ll define exactly what an ultrasound, or sonogram is, and discuss the role that the sonographer plays in its use in the medical field.

Exactly what is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound, or ultrasound scan as the procedure is commonly called, involves the use of high frequency sound and vibrations to create an image. As you’re probably aware, the most common application of the technology is medical imaging where the scan allows the doctor to see an unborn fetus within the womb.

What is it used for?

In addition to obstetric sonography (i.e. prenatal imaging), additional uses for ultrasound include:

  • Imaging of internal organs to help doctors identify disease (e.g. cardiologists take images of the heart)
  • Assessing internal trauma caused by injuries
  • Identifying soft tissue injuries (e.g. ligaments, muscles, tendons, etc.)
  • Helping anesthesiologists identify points for injections
  • Checking for abnormalities in brain and other nervous tissues
  • Treating cancer, muscle injuries and other internal problems through the use of high intensity ultrasound waves

Is it Safe?

Yes. Because ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation to create images of internal tissues, it is considered to be the safest form of medical imaging. It also provides a non-invasive option for treating things like cysts and other soft internal problems by using sound waves to disintegrate unhealthy tissues.

What Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?

The role of the ultrasound technician is to operate the sonogram equipment in a safe, effective manner and to procure clear, useful images for the doctor and other medical staff to analyze. Because different types of scans are performed with either a transducer or endoscope, the technician must be familiar with the types of equipment required to perform different scans and be familiar enough with human anatomy to use the equipment appropriately. Attending ultrasound tech training, becoming an ultrasound tech and making a great ultrasound tech salary is in your grasp!

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