Having a Children’s ultrasound appointment in Hospital – Patient Guide

Hi dudes! I’m Ollie the ultrasound robot.
Ultrasound is a cool way for doctors to look inside your body.
I have got some selfies of people who know all about ultrasound.
Ben was ill when he was six. He had so many ultrasounds he lost count.
Kate is a doctor who does ultrasounds every day.
They are going to tell you all about this. See how many times you can see me in the video.
Let us find out about ultrasounds now. The ultrasound happens in what’s called
the children’s radiology department. The hospital website has lots of information
about how you can get to the hospital. The parking can be a little bit of a trouble
sometimes, so it might be worth trying to come by the park and ride or walking if possible.
It’s a good idea to leave early, so you get a car parking space and to your appointment
on time. When you reach the children’s radiology
department there is a receptionist who you need to book in with.
You would have been sent a letter – it’s best to bring it with you.
They will ask you a few questions, just checking that they’ve got the right address, the
right telephone number for you or your parents and making sure they were expecting you and
know you’re here. I have to go to the reception and hand the
letter in so that they know that we are here. Then they check it’s me by asking what’s
my date of birth and my name and what year I was born.
Then I have to wait in the waiting room for my doctor to call me.
You should get a letter with your ultrasound appointment that will tell you if you need
to do anything special before the scan. For a number of scans we need you to come
not having eaten for a few hours beforehand because that means we get slightly better
views of the organs inside your tummy. I can’t eat stuff sometimes when I have
ultrasounds but sometimes I have to drink quite a lot.
We might ask you to come having drunk lots of water, so you really feel like you need
to go to the toilet. That is when your bladder is full. Your bladder is what collects your
wee before you go to the toilet and it’s really useful for us to have a look at that
if maybe you have been having problems with your kidneys.
You don’t have to wear a hospital gown. You can wear your normal clothes.
There is no need to wear any special gowns. Just come in your own clothes and we will
probably just lift up your top if we are scanning your tummy.
We will get your jumper taken off if we are looking at your neck just so we can get to
the bit of body that we need to scan. Your mum or dad or anyone you would like to
bring with you can definitely come with you to the scan and they can sit in one of these
chairs right next to you and be there the whole way through.
Your mum and dad can come into the room with you, so you don’t have to be on your own.
The room is quite dark but there are lights and you have a pattern up on the roof that
you can look at. The ultrasound scan is done using this screen
behind me. There are no needles and it shouldn’t hurt in anyway at all.
We put some gel on the little cameras we use first because the soundwaves don’t go through
air very well. So we need a little layer of something other than air between you and the
camera. The stuff we use looks a little bit like colourless
shower gel, it doesn’t smell of anything either and we just wipe it all off at the
end. The gel is cold and it feels all wobbly like
when you touch jelly. They put that on your tummy so they can see
the pictures a lot better. There are some funny noises but that comes
from the inside of you! You have to move around when they ask you
to. It’s not painful at all. What I see on my screen is a black and white
picture of whatever it is I’m scanning. What we are really doing is managing to look
inside your body by using soundwaves. All the doctors and nurses are friendly.
You will just be asked to move around and to lie on your tummy, your side or your back.
There isn’t anything to be scared of actually. For us to get the best possible pictures we
need to be able to see our screen really clearly and we can see it a bit better when the lights
are dim. We also have some fish on the ceiling which
you can see behind me. They are usually up on the roof and you can see those better with
the lights down. We usually give about 20 minutes for the scan.
Sometimes it takes a little bit less than that and sometimes it takes a little bit more
depending on which bit of your body we are scanning.
You have to come back and get the results and they tell you if it’s looking good and
what they find. The person doing your scan will be either
a doctor like me or one of the radiographers. They can tell you straight after the scan
what they have seen but we will also send a proper report to the doctor who has asked
for the test. The doctor who referred you for the scan will
be able to discuss the results with you when you next see them.
It’s ok if you are a little bit worried but there is nothing to be scared of.
It’s quite good that you have an ultrasound scan as it makes sure you are doing fine and
you don’t have to worry as much. Then you will know if you’re recovering well.
So really there is nothing to worry about at all.
You come in here and watch television while we scan your tummy or whichever bit of your
body it is that needs scanning. We usually then give you a sticker if you
have been good and then you get to go home.

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