Not to be confused with a stenographer, the people whose job it is to transcribe speech into shorthand, often seen in Court, a sonographer is a healthcare professional who specialises in the use of ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images or scans.
The scans can produce two- or three-dimensional (2D or 3D) images, which can be printed out, as well as four-dimensional (4D) videos.
Sonographer is the preferred term for the specialised healthcare professional who performs diagnostic medical sonography, or diagnostic ultrasound. The alternative term “ultrasonographer” is much less commonly used.
In the UK, sonographers are responsible for the interpretation of the images and issue diagnostic reports. They are educated to a high level, and their training is delivered as a MSc/PGDip/PGCert by universities delivered at postgraduate level.
Sonographers have core knowledge in ultrasound physics, cross-sectional anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
An ultrasound obtains images from inside the human body using high frequency sound waves. The reflected sound wave echoes are picked up and converted by a computer into an image that is displayed on a computer screen. For standard diagnostic ultrasound there are no known harmful effects on humans and is therefore one of the safest diagnostic medical examinations available today.
Ultrasound scanning does not involve X-rays and has been shown to be one of the safest of medical techniques, and is used routinely to scan babies, both before and after birth, children and adults. It has been used to provide valuable pictures and other diagnostic information for years, with no evidence of any harm.
Laura Gardner is a Clinical Specialist Sonographer and Registered Midwife and is fully competent, qualified and experienced to perform safe ultrasound scans on men, women and pregnant women. Appointments with Laura can be made on-line, over the phone or by visiting our premises in Bury town centre.