The Ultrasound School Experience
Ultrasound school is a very exciting and rewarding experience. The excitement of finally reaching your goal of getting accepted into an accredited ultrasound program is certainly a tremendous milestone! However, there will be moments of frustration and stress that will occur during your journey in your program.
As a student sonographer, you will be introduced to relational & cross section anatomy, ultrasound physics, different pathologies, ergonomics, and new technology.
Ultrasound school is a very accelerated program that requires its students to be able to grasp new concepts very quickly. As a student sonographer, you will be introduced to relational & cross section anatomy, ultrasound physics, different pathologies, ergonomics, and new technology. This wealth of information will be presented in a variety of ways to the student which can also contribute to stress that one will experience in school.
How I Managed Stress While in My Sonography Program
My experience in the diagnostic medical sonography program was quite different from the average college student. I attended school at a later age in life and had to process through the challenges of a divorce. In addition, I became a single mom of three children.
Although I was confronted with the unexpected challenge of the divorce and raising three children I knew that I had to find a way to navigate through ultrasound school. I wanted to succeed!
When I started the ultrasound program I was very overwhelmed. The weight of all of the personal challenges that were taking place created lots of stress that was totally out of my control. However, I began to create a balance between my school work and personal responsibilities.
There were a few strategies that I implemented which were to be organized, take breaks, and prioritize self preservation.
I can not stress enough the importance of being organized! I’m typically the one who plans just about everything that I do. Especially when it came down to planning my responsibilities in ultrasound school. I knew that it was imperative to do so, much like planning and organizing my life as a single mom of three kids. As I mentioned earlier, ultrasound school is tough.
Each day and week brings its own set of challenges throughout the program. There are many classes that you as an ultrasound student must complete, and they require lots of your time and attention.
I’m more of a visual learner, therefore taking notes in different colors helped me to recall the information easier.
I made sure to keep separate notebooks for each class. In addition to the separate notebooks, I wrote my notes for each class in different ink colors. I’m more of a visual learner, therefore taking notes in different colors helped me to recall the information easier.
There were also certain times and days during the week where I designated study time for each class. It also helps to keep a daily or monthly planner to write down your tasks for each day. This will assist in keeping yourself accountable for all of your daily responsibilities.
Establishing relationships with your classmates can help to alleviate some of the stress while in ultrasound school. Your classmates are able to relate to the challenges that arise within the program. You all are there together with the same goal to achieve.
That goal is to master the new information and be able to apply what you have learned clinically and in the classroom. It helps to have another person that understands what you are going through to help you study.
In addition to having a study partner, having someone to talk to will help minimize your stress level while in school. Sometimes all we need is a sounding board! When we are able to express our thoughts and feelings with others who care and can relate we feel more at ease.
Don’t forget that your instructors and preceptors at your clinical sites can serve as a beneficial resource as well. Having conversations with those that have walked the journey before you can bring a different perspective to the challenges that students face while in ultrasound school. Experienced Sonographers are typically able to impart a little wisdom that will go a long way!
In the midst of all of the abundance of new ultrasound information, it is very vital to your mental health to take breaks often. If you are like me, I tend to put my all into my studies. Some students are better at juggling multiple tasks than others. However, at some point one must learn to embrace the need to slow down and take a break.
Taking breaks does not mean that you are lazy or you don’t have a will to succeed. It simply means that you need to step away from the demands of your studies in order to rest. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as studying to make excellent grades in ultrasound school.
Taking the necessary breaks while in your program is the gateway to self preservation! Self preservation is one of the keys that contributes to a healthy mental state of mind. Ultrasound school is very stressful in so many ways. The new information from your classes to the different clinical rotation sites can truly take its toll on your mental health. It is your responsibility to take care of your mental health.
One of the ways that can help assist in self preservation is to just unplug. Unplug from everything that requires extra time and energy. I know this may seem like a difficult task; however, it is ok to take a day off from studying. Allowing yourself to take a full mental break will help to recharge your energy. This can be as simple as going out for a walk, watching a movie, or simply enjoying whatever brings you mental peace.
In essence, take care of yourself no matter what obstacles you encounter during your journey in your sonography program. Learn to develop healthy and practical ways to bring balance in your life.
Those practices that you create for yourself may look different from everyone else’s. Therefore, do what is best for your unique journey and stay focused on the assignment to becoming an excellent Sonographer!
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