MUAM: Thoughts of a newly qualified sonographer 

Thoughts of a newly qualified sonographer 

A bit of an overused phrase – ‘a roller coaster of emotions’ isn’t it? And yet, here I am saying it because being trainee in medical ultrasound and now fully fledged (barring my preceptorship naturally) is exactly that; a complete roller coaster.  

Sheer relief of all the hard work that you have put in over the last two years of a PgD has resulted in the long-awaited PASS. Thank goodness! The frustration of the final months was all worth it eventually. Wait......what’s that......panic......terror...... responsible for an ultrasound report?? I’m going to miss something aren’t I.......please don’t let me miss anything......damn! No foetal heartbeat......mouth has gone completely dry......what do I say......was I ready for this???  

Yes, I on, I am ready for this. It took me a fleeting moment to realise that I don’t do this alone. We are a team. My colleagues are a team of mentors to me and I am graced with my preceptorship period. I know my own limitations; I will always ask and I know that I would not have passed if I wasn’t good enough. I suppose that it’s natural at first to go through this kind of thought process. I have continued to learn valuable lessons about my scanning and reporting, which I hope I will always do. Sometimes this learning process, for example, when I do peer audit under supervision, it makes me think just about how much I don’t know and I do have to take a minute to remember how much I do know and take confidence from that. 

Another cliché is that ‘you only learn to drive properly once you’ve passed your test’. I suppose what that really means is that you grow slowly in confidence in what you are doing and you are able to polish the rough edges when the pressure of getting through the course has passed. So, I’m polishing furiously with determination. Embracing the support of preceptorship and looking forward to a career filled with challenges and opportunities. 

So, my new mantra will be; less panic and terror, more acceptance and learning. Knowing that we all go through this is comforting and reassuring to say the least. 

Here’s to all the newly qualified out there……. It’s only going to get better, how great is that thought! 

Would be great to hear everyone else’s thoughts on being newly qualified too. 

Katie Newstead