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Content Reviewed 09/30/2008

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Clinical Services

Sonographer performing scan.
Figure 1. Sonographer performing scan.

During patient evaluations, a high frequency ultrasound may be used by a diagnostic medical sonographer or sonologist to create diagnostic sonographic images. While this module uses the term "sonographer," the potential hazards and possible solutions discussed also apply to sonologists and students. As sonographers work with ultrasound equipment they may be at risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Sonographers with heavy workloads or those who have been in the profession for many years are particularly at risk. According to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), sonographers on average experience pain or MSDs within 5 years of entering the profession. [SDMS Benchmark Survey (2000)]

Sonographers are exposed to a variety of ergonomics-related risk factors when they perform specific tasks dealing with:

Engineering, administrative and work practice controls such as room layout and equipment placement, scheduling, staffing, patient assessment, training, and work practices may also need to be considered to reduce the risk of developing an injury.

Note: Sonographers encounter a variety of workplace hazards. This module only addresses ergonomics-related risk factors.


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