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Ultrasound Program Overview and Analysis

My Experience in This Program

From the very beginning, the ultrasound program that I have chosen has set high standards that must be met. My understanding was that the program would require my full commitment and best efforts to achieve my academic goals. Despite my initial hesitation, I was encouraged by the positive reviews of previous students as well as reassurance from the program’s mentors. The first positive feature that stood out to me, in the beginning, was a clear list of prerequisites that allowed me to assess my existing knowledge. To my relief, I had a pretty solid understanding of the key topics that I needed to have a good grasp on such as physiology, anatomy, physics, sonography instrumentation, and medical terminology.

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The second advantage that I would like to point out is the structure of the course. To me, it had the perfect balance of theory and practices: none of these elements were given excessive attention or dismissed. The theory was presented through various media such as texts and videos, with the latter being quite engaging and interactive. Overall, the course structure was a sufficient outline of what an ultrasound tech needs to know. When needed, I used additional courses to complete my knowledge or have a more detailed understanding of a specific topic.

I would lie if I said that quizzes and final assignments were easy. In actuality, I had to study quite a lot for each of them, and finally completing them with high scores gave me a sense of accomplishment. I appreciated how some of the assignments were slightly out of the scope of the theory given in lectures to push our boundaries. I would say that this course made me even more sure about what I want to do professionally, and it gave me the needed confidence to proceed.

Changes in My Perspective

This program has positively transformed my perspective on sonography as a field. Before the program, I had a limited understanding of what sonography entails. In particular, I was convinced that the main focus of the program would be on the technicalities of the profession. To some degree, it is true: examining the internal organs requires refined hard skills and background knowledge. However, I was surprised at the amount and quality of soft skills sonography requires if one wants to become a good specialist.

At first, I was skeptical about the importance of communication in the field. In my group of friends, it was a common notion that sonography is a good fit for medical specialists that do not fancy talking to people on the job. Nevertheless, as my knowledge deepened, I realized that an ultrasound professional needs special skills to translate findings into digestible explanations for a patient. There are numerous myths about ultrasound and its effects. Sadly, many patients believe them, and these misconceptions might get in the way of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. For example, it is a common myth that frequent ultrasounds are harmful or that they use radiation. A medical professional needs to be able to meet the patient where they are, as in pay attention to their beliefs and use the right language to guide the process (Kurtz, Draper, & Silverman, 2017). I am glad that I was able to realize the value of soft skills and how they complement hard skills.

Practical Implication of This Program

As mentioned in the previous section, the first important practical implication of this program is communication with patients. In particular, communication can help with narrowing down the scope of assessment. For instance, if I do not know that my patient has had a cerebrovascular event, the chances are I will miss a small fibroelastoma because I will not keep this possibility in mind. The second rule of thumb that I learned in this program and that I intend to apply to practice is to avoid jumping to conclusions. Making conclusions prematurely can lead to missing some serious conditions, which is why scrupulous observation should come first. In the case of uncertainty, a good medical specialist should have the courage to ask others without fearing that this might undermine his or her authority (Birks, Chapman, & Davis, 2015). A second opinion can be life-saving for a patient, and that is all that matters at the end of the day.

Aside from that, I also appreciate the fact that the program was explicit regarding the challenges of ultrasound. I believe that learning early on about possible difficulties prepares specialists for actual practice as they know what to expect. For example, tissue edema (known as fluid retention or swelling) may result in the amplification of sound absorption (Henderson & Dolan, 2016). This leads to a decrease in the echo contrast that is normally found between nerves and the surrounding tissues (Henderson & Dolan, 2016). Another common problem is the air that forms an impenetrable barrier and degrades image quality. These are just some valuable examples that demonstrate the intricacies of working with ultrasound and that I will consider in my future practice.

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The Importance of the Sonography Program

Both formal and informal training have their own value as well as certain pitfalls. Informal training or learning on the job through real-world experience and practice offers an opportunity to apply theory to practice (Stefaniak, 2016). Experienced professionals in mentoring roles can hold the knowledge that one can only gain from years of working in the field. Learning on the job is also valuable for developing one’s communication skills as it includes interaction with people, be it, patients or colleagues. Lastly, informal training is critical to developing one’s professional identity and choosing a specialization within the broad field of medicine.

For all the advantages of informal training, I am convinced that informal training should be preceded by formal training. Firstly, theoretical knowledge is the foundation of any profession. This is especially true for medicine where there needs to be a great deal of memorization and having a grasp of complex concepts. Secondly, a program like the one I was honored to be a part of provides an opportunity to practice a new skill in a safe environment. On the job, making a mistake can be fatal while the learning process supervised by experienced mentors averts such undesirable events. Joining a program in ultrasound is a chance to understand whether a person wants to work in this subfield. It is possible that along the way some students realize that their interests lie elsewhere and change the direction. For a medical student, it is important to have such realizations early on to be able to make adjustments.


Birks, M., Chapman, Y. B., & Davis, J. (2015). Professional and therapeutic communication. Oxford University Press.

Henderson, M., & Dolan, J. (2016). Challenges, solutions, and advances in ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia. Bja Education, 16(11), 374-380.

Kurtz, S., Draper, J., & Silverman, J. (2017). Teaching and learning communication skills in medicine. CRC press.

Stefaniak, J. (Ed.). (2016). Advancing medical education through strategic instructional design. IGI Global.

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