WMSD, ambidextrous, grip force, joint angle, sonographer


Reports to clinic managers of sonographer work-related musculoskeletal disorders, especially those linked to larger patient body sizes, are increasing annually. This study was conducted to determine if patient size, sonographer experience level, and hand preference affected image quality associated with ambidextrous scanning. Thirteen experienced and 11 novice sonographers performed right- and left-handed scans of target organs on three models (5th, 50th, and 95th percentile body weight). Estimated grip force was measured during each scan through the use of force matching with a digital dynamometer. Results revealed a significant (P < .01) interaction effect between specialty and handedness for general and echocardiography for shoulder abduction angle; a significant difference among patient model sizes for grip forces, with the 95th percentile producing the highest estimated grip force values; and a significant difference in shoulder abduction angle among patient model sizes. Image quality was not different across specialties or handedness, and estimated grip force did not differ between handedness across specialties. These findings suggest that both inexperienced and experienced sonographers could benefit from ambidextrous abilities without increasing risk factors for injury or decreasing scanning quality for clinical practice.


Original Citation: Bastian, Eric J., Joel K. Kits, Joshua D. Weaver, John R. Stevenson, Lynn Carlton, Susan A. Raaymakers, and Jennifer VanderPoel. "Effects of Work Experience, Patient Size, and Hand Preference on the Performance of Sonography Studies." Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 25, no. 1 (2009): 25-37.