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Sonographic, Imaging Modalities And Their Corresponding Difficulties

1904 words - 8 pages

According to the CDC, in adults over the age of 20, 69.2% are overweight and 35.9% are overweight (2010). With the average weight of the general adult patient generally increasing, this makes jobs harder for many in the healthcare field, especially sonographers. Abdominal imaging is generally deep imaging with a great deal of force required to push down into the tissue in order to create diagnostic image. Oftentimes, these are long exams with multiple organs and/or vessels to examine. Combine the multiple layers of adipose tissue, overlying bowel gas, and possible skin folds to work around will only increase the exam time putting further strain put on the scanning arm. Considering all of these factors, more and more often sonographers must resort to putting “limited exam due to patient body habitus” because the exam did not yield diagnostic quality images. Considering most of the profession works in hospitals, there are also impatient exams to consider. Patients are brought down in a bed or a wheelchair and commonly have limited mobility, if they are able to move at all. Transport will drop the patient off and the sonographer is left to assist the patient out of the wheelchair or on to the bed alone. The weight of a patient combined with a scenario in which the sonographer is having to lift said patient by him or herself puts great strain on the arms and back. If the patient is already in a bed, the sonographer must work around the large, bulky, sometimes non-adjustable bed in order to access the area they need to get to. Contorting the body and twisting the spine into awkward positions further increases the chance of injury

Vascular imaging, the counterpart of abdominal imaging, requires very fine meticulous movements. Although there is not as much strain put on the shoulder and upper arm from pushing in most vascular work, it comes with its own set of disorders that stem from the repetitive movements required for this imaging modality. Most, if not all, vascular examinations require the use of Doppler, which involves manipulating vessels to get a sample volume directly in the center of the vessel. The majority of the patient population whom need these types of examinations are older individuals with atherosclerosis and/or tortuous vessels that have had many interventional surgeries. To overcome these obstacles, the wrist may have to be contorted, turned, or twisted at an uncomfortable or awkward angle in order to get the Doppler spectral tracing needed. The transducer may be gripped harder than necessary during a difficult examination putting further strain on the wrist and fingers. Possibly the most difficult and the most taxing type of vascular imaging is the abdominal with Dopplers examination. This combines disadvantages of both specialties and adds the element of breathing motion, making it extremely difficult to try and put a sample volume in a miniscule vessel 12 cm...

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