As a former sonographer who had leave the profession due to a work-related injury, I know first-hand how important maintaining sonographer wellness is.
I was able to host a discussion with fellow sonography experts Marybeth Tomory (check out her popular Instagram and Tik Tok) and Nasrin Benion (learn more about Nasrin) on the career challenges sonographers face. We outlined many effective strategies to help advocate for sonographer well-being and create healthier work environments.
Here are seven of the key insights we shared in the Sonographer Wellness Forum:
1. Recognizing Sonographer Burnout Signs:
Early identification of mental and physical burnout signs from sonographers is crucial. These can include prolonged scan times, signs of physical pain such as rubbing a shoulder, missed workdays, and general signs of discomfort and reduced well-being. Being vigilant and paying attention to these signs can help you promptly address issues and prevent them from worsening.
2. Prioritizing Self-Care:
Prioritizing self-care is vital for sonographers. A few examples you can implement to alleviate physical strain and enhance mental wellness include:
- Incorporating micro-breaks during scans
- Practicing ergonomic stretches
- Engaging in strength training
3. Advocating for Better Work Conditions:
Sonographers should feel empowered to voice their concerns regarding staffing or equipment needs. Providing data-driven insights, like scan volume and the length of exams, is crucial when requesting resources.
Developing templates based on these scan types and staggering complex and time-consuming scans can also help sonographers manage their patient load more effectively and prevent overexertion.
5. Leadership’s Role and How to Address Concerns:
Leadership, whether clinical or administrative, plays a pivotal role in promoting sonographer wellness. A receptive approach to staff concerns and an open mindset to suggestions fosters an environment where well-being can thrive and help lead to better patient care.
Sonographers should also bring helpful, action-oriented solutions to leadership and remember to document their needs over time.
6. Building a Supportive Culture and Community
A supportive culture involves all stakeholders, regardless of their roles. Acknowledging the challenges faced by sonographers and actively working to alleviate them together with peers and leaders creates a collaborative environment that promotes well-being and quality patient care.
7. Taking Action:
Proactively preventing burnout and nurturing sonographer wellness requires utilizing ergonomic techniques, advocating for improved conditions, and engaging in discussions about scheduling and workload. These strategies collectively contribute to a healthier and more sustainable work environment.
Maintaining sonographer wellness is crucial for both practitioners and the patients they serve. Identifying burnout, practicing self-care, advocating for improvements, and fostering supportive leadership are all essential steps toward achieving and promoting well-being.
At AS, we have a passion for sonographer wellness. Stay tuned for more exciting news, events, and product innovations designed to support sonographers and their teammates throughout imaging workflows, and learn more by getting a demo.