Introduction of a Sonographer Practitioner role in the Australian Health Care system: opportunities and barriers

Rodney McGregor

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    282 Downloads (Pure)


    In Australia, the majority of sonographers produce an informal report describing the ultrasound findings and a medical practitioner then translates this informal report into the final ultrasound report. This thesis will review the professional role of Australian sonographers and examine sonographer views on formally extending their role to include full responsibility for both the ultrasound examination and completion of the final written report. In sonography, this role extension has been given the title of sonographer practitioner.The research employed a mixed-method research design incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods. A survey of members of the Australian Sonographers Association consisted of closed-ended questions that provided demographic data, type and location of workplace and views concerning sonographer practitioner development. Complementing the closed-ended questions, three opened-ended questions sought information about what would encourage or discourage sonographers from being involved in some form of role extension and the opportunity to comment on sonographer practitioner issues. The themes and concepts identified in the qualitative component of the survey were then explored, in greater depth, with a small sample of survey respondents who agreed to participate in a follow-up individual semi-structured interview.Results from the survey revealed that a majority of respondents (82%) thought there is a need to extend sonographer career pathways. Respondents indicated they were in favour of sonographer practitioner development, and a majority (66%) also indicated they would consider becoming a sonographer practitioner. Analysis of the opened-ended survey questions found the most commonly described incentives or motivations for sonographer practitioner development were professional recognition, remuneration and increased knowledge. Conversely, the most commonly perceived barriers were legal issues, insurance and further study.The surve
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Public Health
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Sydney
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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