SCoR’s professional officer for ultrasound Gill Harrison has been advising the consumer guide Which? to help clarify common public misunderstandings around obstetrics scans and the facts about private scanning.
The article, entitled ‘7 myths and facts about pregnancy scans’, says that while ‘scans are part and parcel of pregnancy… knowing what’s on offer to you and whether you should pay for extra private ultrasound scans can be confusing’.
They tackle myths such as 'Ultrasound scans are 100% accurate', 'You get better scans if you pay for them', 'Pregnancy scans use radiation', and '3D or 4D scans are more accurate than 2D scans', while reminding readers 'You might not be able to have your partner at a scan with you during the pandemic'.
Gill Harrison advises readers on private scans: 'We should not be using ultrasound without clinical need'. She urges pregnant people to check qualifications and any professional registration details before booking private additional scans: ‘There are some misconceptions that everyone who does a scan is “qualified” to a similar level. It takes six to 12 months to learn the basics of ultrasound scanning but in some clinics sonographers have done just a one- or two-day course.
‘Sonography is not regulated so anyone can call themselves a sonographer. The voluntary register [The Register of Clinical Technologists] is exactly that – voluntary.’