Monday, October 31, 2011

To the tech who performed my ultrasound . . .

Might I give you a few pointers that may prevent future patients having to undergo the horrific ultrasound experience I had today.

First of all - smile! If a woman isn't visibly pregnant and looks like she may pop (or hell, even if she is) an ultrasound is an experience that creates anxiety in everyone.  When you call the patients name, do it with a smile.  It will immediately make your patient feel more comfortable.

2. When reading the patients history, and confirming the ultrasound is for a miscarriage, have some compassion and empathy in your voice.  This isn't a dental cleaning we are talking about here!  Most of the time bringing up the miscarriage and any questions relating to it will also bring tears.  Being a cold-hearted bitch just adds to the hurt bottled up inside.

3. While performing the external ultrasound be gentle.  Understand that your patients bladder is full and she knows there is no baby inside.  Pushing down with all your might without even acknowledging the discomfort she is in shows no heart.  (See number 3 regarding compassion and empathy).

4. While performing the internal ultrasound, be gentle.  If you have never taken misoprostal to induce a miscarriage you may not understand the cramping and pain that your patient has undergone in the last few days.  She probably wishes you never have to experience this pain. When shoving the dildo-cam up her Queen Victoria and jamming (yes jamming) it into her nether regions, know that her uterus is still cramping.  When she is laying on your table, wincing in pain with tears in her eyes, a reassuring comment, or a friendly smile would do wonders.  Also know that she has had a couple of these ultrasounds recently and she knows how they should feel.  Never once has it brought on immediate pain like yours has today.  Perhaps you can re-evaluate your technique? (Once again, read number 3 re: empathy and compassion)

I know there are staff in your clinic who know what empathy and compassion are.  Perhaps you can take a few pointers from them.  I understand you may have been having a bad day, we all have those, however if necessary be fake, smile and BE GENTLE. 



  1. Ugh! Sorry to hear it was such an unpleasant experience. I think a majority of people in Health Care need some empathy training, as so many of them seem to lack basic compassion. I understand it's their job, but at the same time, it would take very little to have an entirely different and more positive experience.

  2. I'm so sorry that you had to endure this. That Tech was so rude. If you feel comfortable doing so, I would suggest that you forward this to the office manager or your doctor so that this Tech could be counseled about their behavior and hopefully improve.