An echo test, or echocardiogram, is a common ultrasound test that evaluates a patient’s heart. When you schedule this test, it’s your job to ensure that your patients are as safe and comfortable as possible before, during, and after the procedure. This means answering any questions they might have, giving them any preparatory instructions, and guiding them through the entire process. Review the best practices for preparing your patient for an echo test with this guide.

Explain the Procedure

As with all procedures, the first step in preparing your patient for an echo test is to explain the process. Spend time with your patient explaining what an echocardiogram is, how it works, and why you’re doing it. Be both friendly and informative when answering any questions your patient might have. Remember that while this procedure is routine for you, it’s a new and possibly frightening experience for your patient. Help assuage their fears by providing them with the information they need to feel comfortable with the upcoming procedure.

Preparing Your Patient for an Echo Test

There are a few different types of echocardiogram tests, all of which require different preparations. Make sure your patient knows what to do to get ready for their exam. The most common echo test is the transthoracic echocardiogram. This is a standard, noninvasive procedure that doesn’t require any special preparation. The patient can eat, drink, and take their medication as usual on the day leading up to the exam.

If the standard transthoracic echocardiogram doesn’t yield a clear or detailed enough image, you might perform a transesophageal echocardiogram. This involves inserting a transducer into the patient’s throat to get a clearer image. If your patient is having a transesophageal echocardiogram, they should avoid eating on the day of the exam to prevent vomiting. These exams also use a mild sedative to ease patient discomfort during the process. Make sure your patient has someone to take them home after the procedure while they recover from the sedative.

During echo tests and any other procedures in your medical facility, you should make the patient’s comfort and satisfaction your priority. Medical Positioning can help you achieve this with customizable, ergonomic equipment. When you have the right echo tables, ultrasound scanning tables, mammography chairs, and more, you can ensure that your employees and patients are safe and comfortable throughout every procedure.