A Sonographer’s Guide on What to Expect from Your Ultrasound

Posted On: October 16, 2023 By CIW

Whether you’ve had an ultrasound before or not, you likely have some anxiety going into your appointment. Ultrasounds can be a nerve-wracking time, especially in high-risk pregnancies, but knowing what to expect from your sonographer can help you feel more comfortable. At Carnegie Imaging for Women, our incredible team of sonographers can guide you through every step of the process. Here’s what to know about your ultrasound appointment from Sara Tenenbaum, RDMS, RDCS.

Anxiety Is Normal

It’s perfectly normal to have a variety of anxieties about your appointment. You may be nervous about the appointment itself if you’ve never had an ultrasound before and don’t know what to expect. You may also be nervous about the results and what the scans might show. Tenenbaum says that this is perfectly normal for many patients.

She says, “I find that a lot of patients come in very anxious… I like to set a very calming tone. It’s very calm when you come into the room I work in. And I found that knowing what to expect in [your] ultrasound really helps [you] to relax.”

Rest assured that our award-winning team will help you feel comfortable at every stage of your appointment – and that for our highly-experienced sonographers, patients feeling comfortable is part of the job.

Wanting to Ask Questions Is Perfectly Normal, Too

Because it can be highly emotional to undergo an ultrasound in a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll likely have very pressing questions during your appointment. This may be because of something that comes up on the scan, for example. Keep in mind that an ultrasound is only an information-gathering appointment, and your maternal-fetal medicine specialist will assess all the information afterward.

Tenenbaum says, “I can probably answer some surface-level questions, and that’s actually what I tell patients when they ask me… is everything normal?… even if I did find something that was wrong, and I was able to tell you, you’d be anxious the rest of the scan… So it’s much better if you wait until the end. Yes, you’re a little anxious throughout the scan, and then someone at the end will be able to answer all the questions that you might have at one time.”

Make Sure to Express Your Needs

Because ultrasounds for high-risk pregnancies can be emotional, make sure to express your needs before, during, and after your appointment. You may be nervous, but your sonographer’s goal is to help you feel comfortable. Whether you want to chat throughout or not, or if you’re uncomfortable in a certain position, make sure to tell your sonographer.

Tenenbaum says, “[Some patients say] can you please narrate through what you’re seeing because I like to know as you go along, which I think is great when they express it… Some are more interested in chatting, some are more interested in just, you know what, you concentrate, I know you need to do your job.”

As for speaking up about your physical comfort, Tenenbaum says, “I’ve had people that haven’t expressed themselves, let’s say being on their back and not really breathing so well because they’re laying for a bit and it’s further along in the pregnancy. And I mean, the last thing we want is for them to faint, you know?… So, definitely, it’s appreciated if someone’s feeling there’s too much pressure… And if it’s too painful, [you] should say it’s painful – an ultrasound isn’t supposed to be so painful.”

Schedule an Appointment

At Carnegie Imaging for Women, we take every step to ensure you feel comfortable and heard throughout your ultrasound appointment. To meet with our team of highly qualified medical sonographers, contact our offices today by calling or filling out our online form.

To learn more about what to expect from a registered medical sonographer, check out this episode of our Healthful Women podcast.

Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

Comments are closed.