Norton County Hospital Celebrates Staff Sonographers During Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month


NORTON, Kan. – Norton County Hospital recognizes the important role that diagnostic medical sonographers play in the medical field during Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually during October.

Ultrasound is a type of medical imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to look inside the body. The technology was discovered in the 1820s and first used in modern medicine in 1942. Ultrasound equipment and the technologists who run the machines play an instrumental role in providing high-quality patient care.

Sonographers – also called ultrasound technologists – use ultrasound machines to view images of the beating heart, fetal growth, blood vessels and more. In fact, ultrasound is applied in many clinical settings, especially radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and cardiology, and it is growing in specialty areas, such as anesthesiology and oncology. Additionally, ultrasound is growing faster than other medical imaging exams, such as CT or MRI. Some reasons are because ultrasound is easy to use and low-cost.

Ultrasound machines are safe, patient-friendly, and can now be as small as smartphones or tablets. Because they’re so portable, ultrasound systems are often the exam of choice, for instance, to diagnose a patient with a physical disability or when a rapid finding is needed in the emergency room.

Sonographers should be commended for their technical and detailed work that supports improved patient care and outcomes. Ultrasound staff members at Norton County Hospital include Shawnee Branek and Marla Kuhn. These staff members do ultrasound work on-site at the hospital and using a mobile ultrasound unit.

For more information about the Diagnostic Imaging department at Norton County Hospital, or to learn more about our ultrasound services or staff, visit

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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