Have you hugged your ultrasound tech today? October 2019 is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM). Thanks to this month long campaign we’re able to celebrate the extraordinary contribution medical sonography provides to modern medicine.
In total, six ultrasound organizations—the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE)—join together every year to sponsor Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM).
The purpose of MUAM is to encourage the public to learn more about ultrasound and how it is increasingly being recognized as a vital medical tool.
Far beyond sonograms, medical ultrasound and point of care ultrasound are changing the ways medical teams treat and diagnose their patients. Our mission is also to recognize the importance of sonography and promote DMS as an education and career path. But of course it’s more than just a career.
Did you know that October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month?
MUAM is also a time for ultrasound technicians and sonographers to celebrate their field of work.
If you are an ultrasound professional, here are some Ultrasound Awareness Month ideas for you to do during the month of October or any time of year.
How can sonographers participate in MUAM?
– Educate your patients. Many of the participating ultrasound organizations provide resources to help you educate your patients. For example you can access FAQs, fact sheets and/or ultrasound term glossaries on the ARDMS and AIUM websites.
The ASE’s website has printable patient guides specific to heart and vascular ultrasound (the ASE also recommends you refer patients to SeeMyHeart.org.).
You might like to create customized brochures or handouts for your patients, as well as aspiring sonographers and other healthcare staff.
– Open up a dialogue with your patients. You might start off a conversation with a patient like this: “It’s Ultrasound Awareness Month. I’m making an effort to help raise awareness. Do you have any questions about your procedure or about other aspects of ultrasound?”
– Share an informative video over social media or with your list of contacts. For example the SDMS has a really creative video for MUAM 2015 called “Diagnostic Medical Sonography – It’s More Than a Picture”.
The Society also have video entitled “Why Sonographers Do What They Do,” which includes some real life examples of people whose lives have been improved or extended because of ultrasound. You can find the videos at sdms.org or directly on YouTube.
– Talk about certification. Talk to your patients about the importance of ultrasound certification and what credential you have. You can also encourage colleagues and students to pursue certification. You might even be at a stage in your career where you would like to become a mentor to an emerging sonographer.
– Display ultrasound pride. A number of the ultrasound organizations have images that you can display to build awareness. For example, the SDMS has logos you can download as desktop wallpaper. The SVU has Facebook and Twitter covers.
— SVU (@svuinfo) October 2, 2015
– Talk to the media. The SVU recommends asking your local media outlets (print, radio, TV, online) to run about Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month and the importance of sonography. The SVU has a sample press release on their website that you might use as a basis for one that you will share with the media when you suggest the story to them.
– Shop for ‘merch’. Buy some clothes, educational materials and other products for yourself or as gifts that demonstrate your passion for sonography. Most of the ultrasound organizations sell a variety of products, like the SVU has fleece jackets, shirts (…), the ARDMS has certification pins and patches (…), the AIUM has hoodies and tablet holders (…), the ASE has educational materials (…) and the SDMS has posters and tee-shirts (…).
– Have some fun! There are a ton of things you can do like organize a potluck or night out for all your colleagues, an ultrasound trivia game with prizes for patients and other medical departments or an open house. The ARDMS is also running an Ultrasound Awareness Photo Contest (deadline is October 31).