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Women’s College Hospital’s sonographers assist in delivery of efficient patient care

October 6, 2014

Medical imaging can be a useful tool in the assessment and diagnosis of a person’s state of health. Women’s College Hospital’s (WCH) sonographers understand the value of such imaging and work with interdisciplinary professionals to provide high-quality images and reports to physicians for diagnostic purposes.

Sonographers are trained medical professionals, with an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, who perform ultrasounds on various areas of the body. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to depict images of soft tissues such as organs, muscles, veins and blood flow.

“An ultrasound does not use radiation and therefore is a safe option for many people including women who are pregnant,” said Marina Andric, ultrasound supervisor, WCH. “The resulting images can be used to help understand the size, shape and function of an organ and help spot any abnormalities or fetal disorders.”

WCH employs both diagnostic medical and diagnostic cardiovascular sonographers. Diagnostic medical sonographers conduct ultrasounds on several parts of the body including the pelvis, abdomen, muscles and veins. WCH also has sonographers trained to perform hysterosonograms, a procedure which looks at the lining of the uterus. Diagnostic cardiac sonographers focus solely on the heart, looking at cardiac size and function, as well as the size and function of chambers and valves.

 Ultrasounds can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two and a half hours, depending on the area of focus. After the ultrasound has been performed, technicians view the pictures, compile their notes and send all items to a radiologist for further evaluation. The radiologist then formulates a report based on the images and sends it back to the physician on the same day. This quick turnaround time allows for physicians to get back to their patients sooner, resulting in efficient patient care.

“In some cases, ultrasound images are key in diagnosing a very urgent health issue, so we do our best to get physicians what they need as soon as possible," said Andric. "We also work with the Family Practice Health Centre to facilitate walk in appointments.”

WCH’s sonographers also work at Mount Sinai Hospital and Toronto General Hospital, as part of the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI). They take part in JDMI ultrasound rounds.

To learn more about WCH’s medical imaging department and how to prepare for an ultrasound, click here.

Diagnostic medical and diagnostic cardiac sonographers
Women’s College Hospital’s diagnostic medical and diagnostic cardiac sonographers
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