Patient Dignity and Privacy
©Walter Rasmussen, R.D.C.S.
In consideration of patient dignity and privacy, it is important to keep female patients covered as much as possible. There is absolutely no reason to keep the chest exposed throughout the exam, particularly if a hospital exam gown is put on to open in the back. With the opening in the back all but the point of probe placement need be exposed. A hospital bath towel can also be used to cover the chest if the gown cannot be used or snapped open.
It is also important for the sonographer to protect the patient from unnecessary intrusions by closing the patient room door or drawing curtains and preventing unnecessary personnel from disturbing the exam.
It is good practice for the sonographer to explain the exam to patients so that they have a good idea of what is going to happen. The sonographer can alleviate anxiety by demonstrating where the ultrasound probe will be placed and asking if the patient has any questions about the exam.