VANCOUVER, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Ten years ago, a survey of BC
ultrasound technologists found 91% of them had suffered work-related
injuries at some point in their careers. Medical literature still says
80% of sonographers seek medical treatment for musculoskeletal
injuries, 17% miss work due to the symptoms of their injuries, and 15%
reduce their duties to recover.
The Health Sciences Association of BC teamed up with WorkSafeBC to
investigate how to prevent these injuries and develop a range of
solutions. HSA released the report yesterday.
HSA President Reid Johnson said the joint project was a ground-breaking
partnership. "We hired certified professional ergonomist Judy Village
to work with hospital staff in ultrasound departments to identify the
types of scans posing the highest risk of injury, as well as equipment
and practices that increase the risk of pain and injury," he said.
Ultrasonographers at St. Joseph's Hospital in Comox and at Nanaimo
Regional General Hospital participated in the study.
The project resulted in a comprehensive review of "best practices" for
hospital ultrasound technologists. These recommended ergonomic
practices have been summarized into clearly illustrated resource sheets
that can be downloaded from HSA's website or at www.hsabc.org > Resources > Health and Safety. The material is also available for
download from the WorkSafeBC website.
"Hospital sonographers are highly-trained and a crucial part of the
modern health care team," Johnson said. "In addition to prenatal scans,
ultrasound is used to help diagnose cancer, cardiovascular disease, and
many, many other soft-tissue medical conditions. It's highly effective
as well as relatively non-intrusive -- which means doctors have
increasingly come to rely on ultrasound technologists and their
skills," he said.
However, BC hospitals are experiencing a shortage of diagnostic imaging
staff. "This shortage is particularly acute in the Interior and in the
North. Because of their dedication to patients, ultrasound staff work
long overtime hours in an effort to forestall any further wait lists,
"This kind of workload also contributes to workplace injuries for
sonographers, further aggravating the staff shortage. You can bet this
has an impact on patient care," he said. "These tools were developed so
that sonographers across BC have access to resources that help them
stay healthy and on the job to provide the patient care British
The Health Sciences Association is the union representing more than
16,000 health science professionals who are part of BC's modern heath
SOURCE Health Sciences Association of British Columbia
For further information:
Contact HSA Communications Director Miriam Sobrino for interviews with hospital ultrasound technologists: 604.439.0994 (x501) in the Lower Mainland, or toll free 1.800/663.2017, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org