Parents Focusing on GenderRead Now
For our OB/GYN Sonographers: How do you handle it when parents-to-be are so focused on the gender of their baby that they forget they are having their ultrasound to determine the health of their baby? So many times parents can be so excited and only want to know the sex of their baby. This can make it difficult to focus on the anatomical survey you as the sonographer are there to perform. How do you handle this professionally? Also, for those times when there is actually something wrong with the baby, then what? How do you maintain your professionalism as a sonographer, but still make it clear that your focus is not the baby's gender?
4/10/2012 08:18:14 am
I tell my patients up front that we will be evaluating all of the baby's organs and the development and growth of the baby and that is why their doctor has sent them for the ultrasound. I also tell them that if and when I am able to clearly see the gender, I will point it out to them. But I also explain to them that gender determination is only a perk to making sure the baby is healthy.
4/11/2012 12:49:04 am
Once I had a patient who was so disappointed that she was having a boy and not a girl. She kept going on an on about how she was devastated and that this was not what she wanted. Of course that made me sick knowing how ungrateful she was, also little did she know that her baby boy had holoprosencephaly. It definitely puts life into perspective. It can be difficult to see how selfish some parents can be, but ultimately most parents truly care about the well-being of their baby and understand after explaining to them that gender determination is an added benefit to the exam, but the primary purpose is determining that their baby is growing normally and is healthy. I am sure that patient lived with grief over her attitude for a very long time.
Our patients receive a letter when they schedule their 20wk appt, explaining that this test is for diagnostic purposes only and we will tell them our "best guess" at gender if it is visible and if we have time as it is not a medically indicated image in singleton pregnancies. We do not give results of any kind when we have a healthy baby or one with anomalies. If they insist we send them to their doctor's office and have the radiologist call their doctor. Over time our techs learn to pull out their "poker face" and continue conversing as usual. We have a screen at the foot of the bed for patients to watch the exam, we only turn the screen on after we do an initial scan and see a heartbeat and no grossly apparent anomalies.
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