Travel Sonographers: The Ultimate in Ultrasound Jobs
By Joan Fox Rose, MA, RN, contributor
During her education to become a sonographer, Katie Thompson, RDMS, met a traveler who had just completed a sonography assignment in Hawaii, and thought it would be amazing to combine a career she loved with the ability to travel. So, after accruing some experience, she signed on with Club Staffing, an AMN Healthcare company, in order to try this unique lifestyle for herself. Traveling from her home in Florida, she has since been assigned to sonography jobs in hospitals from Boston to California, and is currently working at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Sonoma County, Calif.
Thompson’s travel sonography jobs have allowed her to grow her skills while meeting new friends and experiencing new parts of the country.
Sonographers and ultrasound jobs
Sonographers, or ultrasound technologists, are knowledgeable and skilled in the use of sound wave technology that directs sound beams to different parts of the body through the use of a specialized camera known as a transducer or probe.
“Sonographers have the know-how to manipulate images into live pictures of body structures,” Thompson said. “Sonography is a specialty, and we are the eyes that assist radiologists to make the right diagnosis; they trust us and our unique skills.”
Patience is a virtue for anyone interested in sonography jobs, and it’s important to establish a good rapport with patients prior to a scan to allay their fears. “The average person doesn’t know what ultrasound is,” Thompson said, “so it’s important for us to remain calm and unhurried as we explain procedures to them.”
In addition to knowing how to use the equipment, positioning patients correctly is an important part of the scanning process.
“As we do a wide array of exams, proper patient positioning is vital to the correct outcome,” Thompson noted. “If I were to take an image of a blood vessel in your leg, I’d position your leg in a lateral position. If I were to scan your thyroid, I’d place a pillow under your shoulder to extend it.”
Skilled at completing various types of scans at her ultrasound jobs, Thompson is certified to perform scans of the abdomen, breast and vascular system. “My favorite specialty is breast ultrasound,” she said. “Generally women are scared and may be in pain. They may know a family member or friend who had breast cancer, or have been told they have breast cancer. During scans we do our best to hold their hands, listen to them and comfort them.”
Perks of travel sonography jobs
Ultrasound professionals--especially with certifications as registered diagnostic medical sonographers (RDMSs)--are in demand at hospitals and clinics across the country, and travel ultrasound jobs offer significant opportunities for personal and professional growth.
“I work for a travel company that I trust, and I’ve had the same recruiter, Ashley Franco, since I joined Club Staffing,” Thompson said. “Ashley is extremely professional and has become a good friend.”
“I feel blessed to have opportunities to experience the amazing beauty and diversity of our country,” she added. “My home state is Florida, and while doing my job I’ve traveled around the country, and I know through my three-month assignments I’ve become more fully rounded in my knowledge of the human body as well as scanning techniques and goals. Travel has made me a better sonographer.”
Advice for sonographers considering travel
Sonographers need to have a strong skills set and enough clinical experience to become a traveler, Thompson said. “I worked with several major hospital systems and diagnostic imaging centers before I traveled.”
“Remember, as a supplementary staff member, you’re the new kid on the block. It’s important to reach out to others and to be humble in your approach with them. You need to show others you’re willing to learn. Should colleagues do things the right way, but differently than the way you do, ask them why they did it that way. By doing so, you can increase your knowledge and learn news ways of doing things.”
Let the professionals at Club Staffing help you find the ideal sonography job or other allied health opportunity for you. Call 800-875-8999 or apply now to get started today!
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