sonogram versus ultrasound

Published

I am a long time med/surg floor nurse. But this question from a friend stumped me. What is the difference between getting an ultrasound versus getting a sonogram?

It came up in a conversation about ultrasounds for pregnancy and the friend said something along the lines of "aren't they really sonograms or did they use to do sonograms for pregnancies, or what is the difference." I had no idea. I looked on the Internet and the answers were all over the place. Yes there is a difference (with technical details), to no there is no difference. One answer said it is like calling it an automobile versus calling it a car?

I don't I want the answer to be too technical! I believe in the KISS form of explanations.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

son-o-gram   [son-uh-gram, soh-nuh-]

noun Medicine/Medical.

the visual image produced by reflected sound waves in a diagnostic ultrasound examination.

Origin: 1955–60; sono- + gram

Simple enough?

rn/writer, RN

17 Articles; 4,168 Posts

Nah, still too complicated. :D

Ultrasound = photography.

Sonogram = picture.

Ultrasound makes sonograms like photography produces pictures.

brownbook

3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

okay, thanks for the answers.

I guess I needed it to be just a little more technical!

I think I need to do some more research on my own to get a clearer picture. I will be back with more questions!

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.
Nah, still too complicated. :D

Ultrasound = photography.

Sonogram = picture.

Ultrasound makes sonograms like photography produces pictures.

Not to be too nitpicky, but if we are to compare it to photography I'd say...

Ultrasound is the medium (if light waves are used as the medium in photography, sound waves are used in Sonography)

Sonography or Ultrasonography is the technique (as in Photography)

and Sonogram is the image produced by Sonography (as in a photograph)

...sometimes the word Sonogram can denote the equipment used in Sonography and the Sonographer is the person performing the technique.