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Ergonomics for Rad Techs

Ergonomics for Rad Techs

Megan Malugani / Monster Contributing Writer

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Learn the Risk Factors

The various specialties within radiologic technology pose different risks, says Joan Baker, an ergonomics expert for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography for many years and a founding partner in Sound Ergonomics, a Kenmore, Washington-based consulting firm that develops ergonomics programs for sonographers.

For example, mammographers, who are expected to perform a mammogram every 10 or 15 minutes, often get shoulder and low-back injuries from raising their arms above their heads and repetitively twisting their trunks to position their patients’ breasts around equipment.

Sonographers commonly suffer neck and shoulder injuries, because they must forcefully press a transducer onto their patients’ bodies to produce good images. Sonographers also risk injury if they’re not equipped with or don’t use height-adjustable tables, or if they position monitors at an incorrect height or angle.

An ergonomics consultant or a facility’s physical or occupational therapists can evaluate RT work areas, recommend the most effective equipment and train RTs on how to adjust their techniques to reduce their risk of injury.

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