Newbie Tips for Producing Reliable Vascular Ultrasound Imaging

The primary function of a sonographer is to visualise the body's anatomy, physiology, and pathology using a transducer. Vascular ultrasound is one of the most common procedures that sonographers perform on patients, and it involves studying possible pathologies in the body's blood vessels. While sonographers typically undergo a training course that typically lasts two years, effort and persistence are crucial to producing reliable vascular ultrasound imaging. Notably, a newbie sonographer can take three vital steps to ensure optimal imaging.

Scanning with the Non-Dominant Hand

In most cases, sonographers hold a transducer with their dominant hand since it is the most obvious thing to do. However, after a few hours of performing several vascular ultrasound scans, the dominant hand starts to fatigue, leading to poor imaging results. Therefore, newbie sonographers are advised to train themselves to use their non-dominant hand when performing vascular ultrasound procedures. While it might sound difficult, learning to use your non-dominant hand in scanning body vessels will not take too long. Alternating a transducer between your left and right hand throughout the day reduces strain and fatigue on the wrists and the elbows. The versatility is instrumental in ensuring you produce reliable imaging that physicians can use. It is particularly useful when performing vascular ultrasound in ICUs where medical equipment around a bed render it impossible to stand in your usual position for scanning, and you must use a portable transducer.

Avoid Singularisation of Focus and Findings

The ultimate goal of vascular ultrasound procedures is to find potential pathologies in the blood vessels. However, you must not singularise a transducer's focus and findings since it increases the chances of missing issues in surrounding tissues. Notably, newbie sonographers often struggle with the issue, especially if a scan takes longer than usual. For instance, focusing too much on an extensive deep vein thrombosis can make you forget to scan for a concomitant superficial venous thrombosis. Therefore, ensure that vascular ultrasound scans cover a wide area to rule out associated pathologies.

Optimal Patient Position

A patient's position on an examination bed largely determines vascular ultrasound image quality. If a patient is uncomfortable, they will keep adjusting their body, causing blood vessels and body organs to shift. Similarly, uncomfortable patients tense their muscles, affecting blood flow in the vessels. Thus, ensure that your patients are in an optimal and comfortable position before you begin a vascular ultrasound procedure, particularly for elderly patients.