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Appendix 2

Subject to local variation, an ultrasound examination consists of:

Greeting patient and sonographer introduction

Explanation of procedure

Obtaining consent (usually verbal)

Preparing patient and assisting onto couch as necessary

The examination itself including extending the scope of the examination if found to be clinically necessary and recording images to PACS

Assisting patient off examination couch

Responding to questions from the patient, and explanation as to when and where results can be obtained

Aftercare and closing comments

Preparing and verifying the report

Acting on critical or urgent findings as necessary.


Some factors that may affect ultrasound examination times:

Experience of the sonographer

Teaching others (good quality teaching will require extra time)

Whether the support of an assistant is available or not

NHS standard tariff

Patient mobility, age of patient

Familiarity with equipment (if new to the sonographer)

Quality of the equipment

Room design

Availability of support from other experienced sonographers, or an ultrasound radiologist

Clinical questions asked (e.g. is a full upper abdominal and pelvic scan including transvaginal scan likely to be needed?)

Local examination protocols

Overall pattern of bookings during the session

Working methods (e.g. two sonographers scanning alternate cases; a single sonographer with an assistant; a single sonographer working alone)

How long a particular intensity of work can be maintained

Sonographer work-related musculo-skeletal disorder avoidance practices.


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