October 19, 2020 -- To continue working safely as the pandemic progresses, sonographers must take into account their local context and setting, according to Gill Harrison, professional officer for ultrasound at the U.K. Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR). National guidance can help, but it's important for departments to have risk assessments that consider their working environment, individual staff needs, and patient types, she noted in an article on the SCoR website.
It goes without saying, but a policy must be in place that all staff adhere to and should include potential situations as well, such as what if a patient cannot wear a mask? Or what if they can but they refuse? In addition, any and all policy changes should be publicized, Harrison added.
Other considerations for this time include pondering alternative ways of working. For instance, can vulnerable patients be seen in a different room than other patients? And if this occurred, would it give sonographers enough workload variety that they don't increase their risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders? Another alternative to consider is can Perspex screens be used in waiting areas or scan rooms?
"Staff support will be essential as sonographers continue to work under extremely difficult circumstances," Harrison wrote. "Additional time is required for examinations to enable cleaning to be undertaken. Good leadership, inter-professional team working, and communication are crucial to provide effective, safe, working environments for patients, staff, and the wider community."
To read Harrison's viewpoint in full, go here.
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