Calling all Sonography Students


Do you remember the exact moment you decided you wanted to go to school for Sonography?  I do, I remember that day well.  I was working in the laboratory at Tampa General Hospital processing patient specimens. One of the specimens I received was a bag of feces, the reason this stands out is  that the cap had come off the container in the bag.  Well after gagging I said to myself “there has got to be a life better than this.” I started doing some research, and on my lunch hours I would walk around the hospital and take notes  on what areas interested me.  After work I would go to the hospital gym to work out and one afternoon when I walked into the gym and there was an intriguing young lady walking on the treadmill.   For book purposes we will call her Madge.  As we began to talk I asked her what department she worked in and she said proudly ” I work in the ultrasound department.”  Ten months later I was proudly following Madge all over the ultrasound department.
For starters I filled gel bottles, got her patients in the room for her, explained the exam to the patient, put a towel down and dimmed the lights. All Madge had to do was come in introduce to herself to the patient, scan while I observed and leave. After, I cleaned up everything  gently wiped the patient off and made sure they got back to their room. Yes, when I was in general I Always wiped off my patients when I was finished.  It’s just a common courtesy thing to do.
About two years ago I was filling in at a hospital who accepted students, since I had worked in outpatient offices mostly it had been awhile since I had been around students.  Now I’m not talking about every student out there and I am not coming down on you, remember we are all in this together to learn and grow. But I have to say how shocked I was by how little students did around the department to help and grow from this opportunity they are given.  Sitting around while people clean around you, ignoring an over flowing linen bag, surfing the web, looking down on their phone constantly or thinking it would be a good time to work on a resume’.
I actually had a student say to me ” I don’t know if this is what I want to do, I’m just doing it for now because I heard the program was fast and easy.” I had to get up and walk away from her.  With so many coming out of schools today I have to wonder how many actually take this career serious and for that matter do they truly understand the difference between a job and a career?   The biggest difference between a job and career is that a job is what you work at in order to make money, while a career is working towards your goals and dreams, following that purpose and moving ahead in your journey. Our dreams and our goals are what we have to work towards if we want to feel like our lives haven’t been wasted. They are our purpose in life, accomplishing them will make us feel that we succeeded, or have what it takes to succeed.
You never know when someone is watching you, taking notes and who they are telling. I always say imagine a camera recording your every move, now unless your on some raunchy reality show you want to look good for the camera don’t you?  Students should be viewed as enthusiastic, motivated, proactive, confident, knowledgeable and genuine when interacting with patients. They should not let exam pressure interfere with their performance.  A good student helps around the department freeing up time for the Sonographer’s who are teaching you, enabling them to catch up on paper work or maybe just taking a breather.  Remember they were a student once too so they too have done their time. Now before you go on and say to yourself, that’s not my job, or i’m not getting paid to do clinical’s lets talk about a little thing called humility.  Knowing that it takes walking in the foot steps of the veteran Sonographer’s  in order to get to where they are. Taking pride in your work and paying attention to detail.  Being humble is knowing that even though this may not be part of your job as a student, it’s realizing that it’s the beginning of your journey of your career and as long as your committed to this you will make progress and you will create change.

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