The personal impact of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) on sonographers

Bolton, Gareth ORCID logo ORCID: , Booth, Lisa ORCID logo ORCID: and Miller, Paul K. ORCID logo ORCID: (2020) The personal impact of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) on sonographers. In: United Kingdom Imaging and Oncology Congress (UKIO), 1-3 June 2020, ACC, Liverpool. (Unpublished)

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Background: Since 2005, the UK government’s Migration Advisory Committee has listed sonography as an official ‘shortage specialty’ (Migration Advisory Committee, 2019). Work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WRMSD), already widespread among sonographers, is increasing due to the additional physical stresses of working in understaffed environments (Harrison & Harris, 2015). While contemporary research has described the broad picture regarding WRMSD in ultrasound (Bolton & Cox, 2015), none has, to date, extensively explored its personal and professional impacts.
Method: Extended semi-structured interviews with N=9 experienced sonographers working in the UK were conducted and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Miller, et al, 2017). Core thematic areas that emphasised personal impacts of WRMSD were then further examined to highlight how participants specifically made sense of them.
Results: The key ideological tensions evident in the findings pertained to those between individuality and collectivity, and freedom and necessity. Evidence indicated that the participants held a range of perspectives highlighted in the following themes: (1) acknowledgement, or denial, in terms of experiencing symptoms of WRMSD (2) recognition of own vulnerability, (3) ‘spinning plates’ against emotional investment, (4) metaphorically ‘jumping through hoops’ and (5) total denial of the phenomenon.
Conclusions: Participants acknowledged their role as professionals, and also their own commitment to a broader altruistic model that reinforced their identities as good healthcare professionals. The ‘personal self’ provides a useful analytic framework for understanding some of the everyday feelings of sonographers towards the phenomenon of WRMSD. Further exploration of the conceptual facility thereof is recommended.

1. Bolton, G.C. & Cox, D.L. (2015) 'Survey of UK sonographers on the prevention of work related muscular‐skeletal disorder (WRMSD)', Journal of Clinical Ultrasound, 43 (3), pp.145-152.
2. Migration Advisory Committee. (2019) Full review of the Shortage Occupation List Migration Advisory Committee. London: Migration Advisory Committee.
3. Miller, P.K., Woods, A.L., Sloane, C. & Booth, L. (2017) 'Obesity, heuristic reasoning and the organisation of communicative embarrassment in diagnostic radiography', Radiography, 23 (2), pp.130-134.
4. Parker, P.C. & Harrison, G. (2015) 'Educating the future sonographic workforce: membership survey report from the British Medical Ultrasound Society', Ultrasound, 23 (4), pp.231-241.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Gareth Bolton
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 10:10
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:30


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