It is very important to support your arm when scanning. You can do this by using correctly positioned cushions under your arm.
- Once you have found a position that is comfortable for you, consider using support cushions for your scanning arm. Various sizes of cushions can be used, alone or in combination, so that your arm is not "suspended" in the air. Maintaining an unsupported position puts added stress on arm and shoulder muscles and can quickly cause fatigue.
- Take a little extra time to position the patient before you begin the exam. You should have the patient move as close to you as possible. If necessary, role the patient up on his/her side rather than reaching over the patient.
- The position of both of your hands during an exam should be considered.Your non-scanning, or typing, hand should not rest on the key board of the ultrasound equipment. This results in flexion of the wrist which puts pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. You should rest your non-scanning hand in your lap whenever you are not using the keyboard of the equipment.
- Gripping the ultrasound transducer can contribute to new or recurrent injury. You should have a relaxed grip, which can be difficult when there is gel on the transducer. If you scan wearing exam gloves, they should have textured fingers, which will help you grip the transducer using less pressure. If you use a transducer that is too narrow for a comfortable grip, consider using separate covers that slide over the transducer to make it wider.
Postural Alignment is very important. You need to support your upper body and trunk from your abdominal muscles. It takes practice to sit up straight or stand with weight evenly distributed on both feet. If you are 5 feet 4 inches or less standing maybe a better position for you than sitting. Don’t be reluctant to try many different positions until you become comfortable.
Now that you have sought treatment and are feeling better it is time to return to "active duty". You must make technique changes in order to remain healthy. Changes to consider: postural alignment & patient positioning, accessory equipment, patient scheduling, exam room layout and maybe even exam room design & lighting.
There are a number of treatment options available to you. For those that prefer alternative treatment methods or for those seeking to avoid surgery the following are some of the choices, massage therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture/acupressure, naturopathy, yoga, and magnet therapy.
Now that you have filed an incident report, it is time to seek appropriate medical attention. Your insurance provider may dictate whom you initially see, ultimately the specialists of choice for these injuries are:
- Occupational Medicine
- Sports Medicine
- Orthopedic surgeon
If you are suffering from pain as a result of an occupational injury you MUST file an incident report at the time of the onset of pain and visit your employee health office. Do this prior to seeking other medical advice for your injury so that the place where you were injured is documented. You must be very specific as to how you became injured on the job, and to what you attribute this injury.