Cambridge College Student Perspectives: What Ultrasound Means To Me

Becoming an Ultrasound Tech

When I decided that I wanted to begin the DMS program it was because I wanted to be a part of the experience of scanning a pregnant mother and seeing a baby grow inside the body. Little did I know, ultrasound is way more than I thought it would be in a very positive way. It has showed me better patience, a stronger appreciation for the medical field and to always treat your patients the way you expect your own family to be treated. From the moment you come in contact with your patient to the minute they leave your care you should always be attentive, passionate and show them that their well-being is in your best interest.

From a student to future tech perspective, Ultrasound is a very rewarding career path. Just like any job it has its ups and downs, but for the most part, in my opinion, you can not go wrong with this field. Of course, the long hours are not very appealing and some times your patients are not very welcoming or easy, but being able to help people every day and know you have had a hand in possibly saving their life can make it all worth it at the end of your day. The medical field as a whole is a great environment. Who wouldn’t want to make a difference in someone’s life?

When I first came into the program and started to scan and learn all of the different aspects of what ultrasound is as a whole, I realized that it was harder than I imagined it would be. After going through my first clinical rotation I saw that it is more than just simply scanning a patient and sending them on their way. Every clinical site, as well as DMS courses and professors since then, has taught me more than I could have thought possible. I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people since being in the DMS program that have helped shape myself into who I have become in the past 2 years as a DMS student and person as a whole. I know the kind of tech I want to be and the kind I do not want to be.

As I mentioned, Ultrasound is more than just a scan on a random person because of a doctor’s order. If we as techs don’t understand and fully know the inside of the body we will not truly be effective and efficient at our jobs. Being able to recognize the norm from the abnormal is a huge part of what we do every day. If we scan a patients’ heart or abdomen or any other part of the body we need to be able to point out any pathology we may see that can be harmful or potentially fatal: a cyst from a mass, benign or malignant, a clot or a thrombus. What we do and know and learn every day is important and sometimes our jobs may be taken for granted and not treated as such.

I recently did an echocardiogram on middle aged woman that was having reoccurring chest pain and shortness of breath. When I began to scan her, everything appeared normal. She had a good ejection fraction, trace mitral regurgitation with no pericardial effusion. There was nothing on her scan that seemed alarming to my tech or the physician until I got to the sub costal view and was evaluating the IVC. As soon as I put the probe down 4 large masses appeared on this woman’s liver. I finished my views for the echo and then I went back and looked at her liver. Once I put color on the masses they were extremely hypervascular. This woman came in for an echo due to mild symptoms and ended up being referred for an abdominal ultrasound to further evaluate my incidental finding. This is just one of many cases I have seen like this since I have begun my clinical rotations. This is one of the great things about ultrasound and the DMS program. We have the opportunity as students to learn multiple modalities to help us in case we are ever in the situation that I was in. Being able to identify an abnormal liver finding from a normal liver or any other unusual finding, we as sonographers can inform our doctors and hopefully save a persons’ life. This opportunity we are given makes us more marketable for jobs and allows us to be great techs with multiple skills.

I do know that I need to work on having tougher skin in this field, but after the experiences I have gone through so far and seeing the job in real life, I know that ultrasound is definitely the career I want to have. I have a new found respect for what a Sonographers’ job entails and I am ready for what my future career as a Sonographer has to offer. In my future career as an Ultrasound Tech If I can touch one person’s life in a positive way or make one of my patients’ or their families’ lives just a little bit better, I will know that I have done my duty as a tech and as a human being. Now that I know what it is like to be taught the different modalities I could not imagine only studying one. I hope to one day have several registries in the ultrasound field and one day own my mobile business to expand in several areas. Not only will I be able to employ future ultrasound techs, but I will be opening the door to different areas allowing more patients to come and be examined. In the end all we can do is make sure that we are the best sonographers we can be. If there is one thing I have come to realize from this program, it is ‘if you don’t love what you do, you will never be as great as you can be.’

- Kara Myers
Diagnostic Medical Sonograghy (DMS), Cambridge College

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