An Unsettling Ultrasound Experience: A Patient’s Perspective

I went for an ultrasound scan at a hospital I was unfamiliar with.  The purpose of the scan was to investigate my ongoing, undiagnosed abdominal pain.

When I arrived at the hospital, I felt flustered as I didn’t know where to go.  Eventually, I found the right department and was asked to take a seat in the waiting room.

When my name was called, I was taken to a room by a man, who didn’t introduce himself.  The sonographer was waiting to do the scan and he failed to introduce himself to me.  Not one of them said hello to me, or expressed any words of comfort.

I was instructed to lay on the bed and pull back my clothes.  Only brief instructions were given to me by the sonographer.  Namely, breath in and out and to move in certain ways.

At one point it hurt where the ultrasound wand was pressed into my abdomen and I cried out in pain. There were no words of comfort from the two men in the room.

At the end of the procedure, I was told I could go and the results would be sent to my GP in 7 days.  Nothing else was said.

The whole experience made it feel really invasive and insensitive.

What do I want healthcare professionals to learn from my experience?

  • Bedside manners matter.
  • Being a lone female in that environment already feels overwhelming.
  • Being in pain and not knowing what is wrong with you is scary.
  • Words of comfort or at least offering your name is a minimum a healthcare professional can do.

What would you like other patients to learn from your experience?

Take time to get familiar with a hospital lay out if you can.  It can take away some of your anxiety and reduce any feelings of being overwhelmed.


This person provides a candid account of her negative experience during a medical procedure.  She conveys feelings of confusion, discomfort and a lack of empathy from the staff involved.  No one tried to establish a rapport with her.

By describing the lack of introductions, words of comfort, and the feeling of invasion, she paints a vivid picture of the atmosphere and interactions during the ultrasound appointment. This narrative could serve as valuable feedback for the hospital’s administration and healthcare professionals, highlighting areas where improvements in communication and patient care are needed.

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