HERE AT CROSSROADS PREGNANCY CENTER, WE OFFER FREE, LIMITED OBSTETRIC ULTRASOUNDS. I WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS WHAT THIS MEANS TO OUR CLIENTS. I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TOPIC IN A 4-PART POST.
Hi, I’m Tresa, the Nurse Manager at Crossroads. As a registered nurse, I have worked everywhere from Maternity at Hershey Medical Center to Home Nursing Hospice. The majority of my nursing career has been in the obstetrics field, with over 35 years of maternity experience. It is my job at Crossroads to offer medical services including limited obstetrical ultrasounds and testing and treatment for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea—the two most common sexually transmitted diseases in Pennsylvania. As a licensed medical clinic, our services are overseen by Dr. Debra Pike, our volunteer Medical Director.
Today’s discussion is going to be focused on the ultrasound in general. An ultrasound machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives the waves and uses them to create a picture. The purpose of an ultrasound machine is to gather information.
An ultrasound exam is a diagnostic tool used to answer a medical question. It can be useful in examining internal body organs including, but not limited to, the heart and blood vessels, spleen, bladder, kidneys, uterus, ovaries, and various information on pregnancies. The pictures or scans are reviewed by a medical professional, usually, a doctor, who then is able to diagnose the issue in question.
At Crossroads, we utilize ultrasound to confirm 3 questions regarding pregnancy. These questions are:
- Is the pregnancy in the uterus?
- How old is the baby?
- Is there a heartbeat?
When a patient chooses to schedule an ultrasound appointment, her medical history—including her last menstrual period and a pregnancy test—are obtained. After that, I will perform the ultrasound scan. I then send the patient’s medical history and ultrasound pictures to our medical director, an Obstetrical doctor. The doctor reviews the information and returns her diagnosis. The patient is then notified of the doctor’s diagnosis. With this, the medical services for this pregnancy are completed at Crossroads and the patient is referred to her local obstetrician.
The next post will focus on the first of the three ultrasound questions: Is the pregnancy in the uterus? Why is this an important question to answer and what specifically does that ultrasound entail?