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6 Training Tips for Portable Ultrasound Use

What can an ultrasound machine exam detect?


Ultrasound machines can be used for a lot of things in many different settings. And they most definitely play a major role in diagnosing patients and getting them the treatment they need. Unfortunately, having to set separate appointments at diagnostic centers to obtain these ultrasounds can lead to a delay in getting on the right road to healing. 


By utilizing portable ultrasound machines in the office, the entire process can be sped up. Many medical and office personnel are not too sure how to fully utilize these machines. And, while in-depth training is always recommended, here are 6 training tips for portable ultrasound use to help you get started. 


1. Identify Your Key Controls. The knobs and/or buttons you will use to control the machine should be located so you can get comfortable using them. Your gain dial is one you will use quite often and turning it adjusts the brightness of an image in real-time. 


Next, find the Time Gain Compensation a.k.a. TGC. Depending on your model of portable ultrasound, you may have a TGC control or a TGC slider. This allows you to adjust the gain at different depths. The overall idea with contrast control is to adjust the image until you have lower gain in the near field and higher gain deeper into the image. 


2. Follow These Tips to Achieve the Best View:


  • Don’t skimp on the gel. Lather it on thick for the best view. 
  • Be sure to make contact between the skin and the probe - without hurting the patient, of course. 
  • Reducing the light in the room can help you better adjust the image quality. 
  • You want to always hold the probe perpendicular to the skin.  


3. Know What You Are Looking For. Once you know how to maneuver the controls and get the best view, it won’t do you any good at all if you don’t know what you are looking for. By talking to the patients and reviewing any documentation or doctor notes,  you will have a better understanding of where your focus should be. 


4. Gaining a Quality Image Requires Routine Attention. There are many buttons on an ultrasound machine, but knowing which one to use to adjust images can help make the entire process a little easier.  We’ve talked about a few of those key controls above. And we now know that the deeper you go within the ultrasound image, the weaker the quality. And, by using the gain you can adjust the brightness of the image. 


But it is important to keep the machine properly calibrated and check the image quality regularly to ensure that the resolution is where it should be. If you don’t know how to do this on your own, it is wise to get a service contract with a company that handles portable ultrasound machines.


5. Never Underestimate the User Manual. It’s easy to toss the user manual aside when you get a new machine. You want to get right to work using it. Believe it or not, despite all the unnecessary things that you will find in your portable ultrasound user manual, you will also find some good information. So don’t underestimate it - use it. 


If your portable ultrasound machine did not come with a hard copy of the user manual,  you can always find a copy online. 


6. Seek Help From the Professionals. Investing in a new portable ultrasound machine isn’t going to be used to its full potential without the training. After all, it is quite common for there to be no one with this type of training in a regular doctor’s office. Have at least one person from your office go through the formal training to optimally use the machine so that you and your patients may reap the most benefits.


Learn Everything You Need to Know About Portable Ultrasound Use


At Universal Diagnostic Solutions, portable ultrasound machines are what we know - it’s what our business is all about. Those who are just learning about how beneficial they are, however, are bound to have questions.


Our knowledgeable team will work with you to find the right ultrasound machine or probe to meet your needs. And, we are here to help get it up and running properly. We want your office to get the most out of your portable ultrasound. 

Contact Universal Diagnostic Solutions and our ultrasound experts at (760) 754-3288.

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