N E W S R E L E A S E
"Industry Standards for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Sonography"
Industry standards for the prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSDs) are now available thanks to the efforts of professionals from key constituencies within the diagnostic medical sonography field. These include professional organizations and equipment manufacturers, as well as credentialing, accreditation, and governmental agencies. Members of these groups attended a consensus conference hosted by the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) in Dallas, Texas on May 13-14, 2003. Joan P. Baker, MSR, RDMS, RDCS, FSDMS, chaired this project to develop risk-reducing industry standards that serve to address the multifaceted problem of WRMSDs in sonography.
These industry standards are intended to assist all employees, employers, educators, and equipment manufacturers in making informed decisions. Adoption of these standards will improve the well being of sonographers and sonologists, and hopefully assist in addressing the workforce shortage in the profession.
According to a 1999 Sonography Benchmark Survey, more than 80% of sonographers are scanning in pain on a daily basis. In addition, 20% of sonographers eventually experience a career-ending injury. The increasing loss of sonographers due to WRMSDs exacerbates the existing shortage of sonographers in the workplace and decreases patient access to this important healthcare service.
The economics of ergonomics also plays a vital role in the future of sonography. Good ergonomics must be an integral part of equipment design, and human consideration must take precedence over economic purchasing decisions. Everyone in the sonography field has a responsibility to prevent health and safety problems that cause WRMSDs. Critical areas addressed in the industry standards include equipment, administrative and professional control measures.
The full text of these industry standards are presented on the SDMS website located at http://www.sdms.org/pdf/wrmsd2003.pdf
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