Sonographers' perceptions of ergonomic and work-related pain problems at work have so far mostly been researched in quantitative studies by questionnaires. There is a need of experience-based research to deepen the knowledge about how sonographers perceive ergonomic problems at work. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was to describe sonographers' perceptions of ergonomic problems at work, and their suggestions for improvement strategies.
Twenty-two female sonographers were individually interviewed regarding different aspects of their physical working environment. Content analysis was applied.
The sonographers perceived different ergonomic problems in their working environment, but to offer patient comfort and to obtain the best possible images were often prioritized over working posture. Echocardiography was considered demanding as the examination is performed with little variation in posture. Ergonomic improvements included reducing the manual handling of the transducer, optimizing the adjustability of equipment, and taking the patient's physique and health into account. As some examinations were perceived to be more ergonomically demanding, variation between examinations was suggested, however, this requires broader skills.
Sonography, especially echocardiography is ergonomically demanding but the improvement strategies suggested were perceived useful and applicable.
2016. Vol. 17, no 1, 391