Examining Blood Clots Using Sonography

Examining Blood Clots Using Sonography

Diagnostic medical sonographers deliver patient care through the use of ultrasounds. Using highly specialized equipment, sonographers can create images of the body which physicians can use to make diagnoses. This growing field will require additional sonographers in coming years, making it an ideal career for individuals who want to work in healthcare. 

One common application of sonography is examining blood clots. In this article, we will briefly talk about the use of sonography in the identification of blood clots and then the process of becoming a sonographer.

Sonography to Examine Blood Clots

Sonography, or the use of ultrasound, can assist diagnostic medical sonographers in identifying blood clots.  Ultrasounds are diagnostic tools used to examine internal body structures. Sonographers use a specific type of ultrasound called a venous doppler ultrasound to help with diagnosing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clot 

An ultrasound is done by pressing a small, handheld ultrasound device against a patient’s skin to capture images of the body internally.  Prior to the device being applied to the skin, a gel is applied which helps reduce the amount of air between the patient’s extremity and the device and allows the sound waves to travel more quickly.  The device emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off red blood cells that run through the bloodstream and they can capture real-time images of what is going on in the vascular system.

This technique is especially useful for deep veins in the arm, leg, pelvis, and thigh, and it can also identify valves in the legs that aren’t functioning well. A blood clot diagnosis through ultrasound can be a life-saving measure. Plus, sonography is non-invasive, which makes it a popular alternative to other procedures in many healthcare settings.

How to Become a Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers are vital members of the healthcare team, assisting doctors with a variety of procedures including but not limited to preparing patients and exam rooms for procedures and answering questions and operating equipment to obtain images and review them for quality. Sonographers can find positions in many different healthcare settings, including hospitals, women’s health clinics, and doctors’ offices.  Working as a sonographer, or ultrasound technician, typically involves completing an associate of science degree in diagnostic medical sonography.

Sonographer Schooling

Diagnostic medical sonographer programs take about two years to complete. They introduce students to the concepts and skills they need to excel in their career and they often include opportunities to gain hands-on training prior to degree completion. Courses may include topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and pharmacology.  In addition, there will be sonography-specific courses including abdominal vascular and OBGYN sonography as well as echocardiographic pathology and anatomy.

Hands-on training during the program will include practical, real-world experiences to help students prepare for their career after graduation.  Programs include a lab component, allowing students to build their skills and they will also have the opportunity to participate in clinical externships in healthcare facilities to practice their sonography skills on actual patients. 

Launch Your Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Career

You can begin a career in healthcare as a diagnostical medical sonographers with an associate’s degree from Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology. In as little as seven semesters, students can earn their degree and start working in various healthcare facilities. Train to become a sonographer by enrolling in Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology’s diagnostic medical sonographer program available at all campus locations.