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Having your pictures taken in Ultrasound can take between 10 minutes and around an hour – depending on what type of pictures you’re having taken. Sometimes you will be asked to go to the toilet between your pictures too.
The person who takes your pictures is called a Sonographer. They’ll let you know everything that you need to do and can answer any questions you might have!
Other people you might meet are: a nurse, a play therapist or a radiologist – that’s the doctor that looks at your pictures.
The ultrasound room needs to be dark so that the sonographer can see your pictures on their special screen.
This is what the ultrasound camera looks like. It’s called a transducer. There are a few different shapes, but they all take pictures. The transducer sits against your skin to take your pictures.
This gel helps the camera to slide over your skin. It’s slippery and can be warmed up if you like! It wipes off easily once the pictures are taken.
There’s also a bed to lie on – you can watch the TV or read a book while you have your pictures taken!
If you’re having pictures taken of your chest or abdomen (tummy) the sonographer might ask you to hold your breath for short periods.
Sometimes the sonographer might need to give you sedation. This is a special medicine to help you feel more relaxed.
It’s really important to keep still while having your picture taken. If you move around, the picture comes out blurry. It’s still okay to breathe normally, blink and stay relaxed.
It’s a good idea to bring some things to keep you busy – an iPad, books, or other activities that don’t need too much space. If you have a favourite stuffed toy, they can come with you - and have their picture taken too!
The best clothes to wear are comfy ones! It’s a good idea to wear clothes that are easy to get on and off – you’ll need to lift up or take off any clothes that are in the way of the camera. And don’t worry if the ultrasound gel gets on your clothes – it dries pretty quickly.
Before your appointment, check the requirements of your child’s scan on their appointment letter. If there is anything you are unsure of or don’t understand, please contact Ultrasound reception on 03 9345 6780.
If you have concerns about your child’s ability to undergo imaging, you may request the services of an educational play therapist. Play therapists are trained to assess and prepare children for imaging and can also provide distraction during your child’s scan. Note that appointments book up quickly, so please request this service in advance, as the play therapist may not be available on the day. Please contact Medical Imaging reception on 03 9345 5255.
It is important to be honest but considerate of your child’s developmental level. It is a good idea to explain to your child why they need the scan. Children over the age of 5 generally cope best when they are informed of their procedure the week prior, and are given the opportunity to process the information and ask questions. Children under 5 are best told about their appointment the day before. You are encouraged to explore the Okee app games and to discuss the content with your child before their appointment.
If your child is having images taken of their chest or abdomen, they will need to hold their breath briefly.
Sometimes the sonographer might suggest using sedation to help your child feel more relaxed.