Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ultrasound Observation Day

Yesterday was AWESOME. I observed in an imaging center for about 8 hours yesterday. I observed two breast biopsies, breast ultrasounds, an intravaginal ultrasound, a couple of renal/kidney ones and some pelvic ones. I was on my feet all day watching (I had to get a band-aid for my foot, as I got a blister!). Two of the breast ultrasounds looked like cancer, which was very sad. One of the women had breast implants, and had found a lump. When they scanned it, it was not a good-looking mass, so they had to let her know they wanted to biopsy it. The poor gal wanted to do it right at that moment, but they couldn't. I totally felt for her wanting to know right away what that thing was. I got to see scans done on a couple of kids and a man, but it was mostly women that I observed. During one of the biopsies, I got to stand right in front of it, and I was curious to see if I could handle watching it as confidently as I thought I could. I did! It didn't bother me at all. They were aspirating a breast cyst, and I watched them numb her up, make the incision and insert the vacuum probe. The probe made a lot of weird noises, but it was cool watching the doc use the ultrasound to guide the probe into the cyst. I'm sure I would be scared to have that procedure done, but the women I observed were very brave.

I absolutely loved this work environment. It was quite collaborative, professional and positive. The sonographers were very cool and worked together so well. I asked them a lot of questions about where they have worked before, and what setting they prefer. They said they preferred the office setting vs. the hospital, for the reasons I would have thought of: to not be around so many sick people. They said that if you work at a hospital, and are "on call," you can make some serious "bank," as they said, but it gets quite old after awhile. The gals I met had worked in that office for 7 and 8 years, which says a lot for how happy they are with their work environment. Most of the sonographers work part time (2-3 days a week), which is what I am looking for when I first get started, because Ben will still be in elementary school. I am so going to be hoping and praying that this office will be where I get to intern at during my schooling. It would be so awesome!

Next week, I will observe at an endocrinologist's office, watching thyroid biopsies. I don't think it will be quite as exciting....

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