The Ultrasound Advisory Group are planning a series of short learning activities for sonographers to help with their CPD. To start off with, for medical ultrasound awareness month (#MUAM), this one is for anyone practising ultrasound.
Both the employer and employee have a responsibility to reduce the risk of harm from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD). This includes offering and engaging with training, risk assessments and safe use of equipment.
The cause of WRMSD is multifactorial; poor posture, repetitive movement,transducer grip and pressure, psychosocial factors, physical factors and workload management can all impact.
Ergonomics plays an important role in reducing the chance of injury. Adjusting the equipment to YOU and your needs is crucial. Remember we are all different.
Have the patient as close as possible to reduce arm abduction
Face the monitor, to reduce spinal rotation
Keep your scanning arm humerus vertical, definitely no posterior extension
Keep your scanning forearm horizontal
Have all fingers on the probe, don’t grip tightly and don’t push unless absolutely necessary to the clinical examination.
Take micro-breaks during the scan, to relax the muscles and tendons
Dynamic warm up exercise before scanning and stretching between cases and list can help.
Be body aware; if you have any symptoms of WRMSD change your position or technique. If all else fails, get advice
ASA and ASUM (2020) ASA and ASUM joint Guidelines for Reducing Injuries to all Ultrasound Users.
Harrison, G. and Harris, A. (2015) Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in ultrasound: Can you reduce risk? Ultrasound. 23(4): 224–230.
Health and Safety Executive https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/msds.htm
Monnington et al (2012) Risk management of musculoskeletal disorders in sonography work
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