Impact of COVID-19 on Australasian Sonographers
The ASA is financially supporting the University of South Australia in undertaking a research project on 'What is the impact of COVID-19 on the Australasian sonographic community captured at three time points during the pandemic?'. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the sonography profession and it is important for the profession that we capture this impact with regards to reductions in work hours, diversification of duties, incidences of cessation of certain scans, protocol changes and wellbeing.
The full extent of the effects may assist in the formation of future guidelines and protocols.
Survey One Conclusion: Scan numbers were affected by COVID-19 as were sonographers' work hours
Survey One data was captured during May 2020 and was presented at the ASA Virtual Conference 2020 and published in the Sonography journal on 28 May 2021.
Australasian sonographers and the ASA's Sonography Journal have been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the Covid-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease database. The findings of the research "The initial impact of Covid-19 on Australasian sonographers" in three parts, and partly funded by the ASA, is now available from the WHO website.
What was the impact of COVID-19 on the Australasian sonographic community? View the three publications produced from Survey One below:
The initial impact of COVID-19 on Australasian Sonographers Part 1: Changes in scan numbers and sonographer work hours
The initial impact of COVID-19 on Australasian sonographers part 2: Changes to sonographic examination protocols and access to personal protective equipment
The initial impact of COVID-19 on Australasian sonographers part 3: Sonographer professional, personal, and social wellbeing
Survey Two: Captured the intermediate impact of Covid-19
In summary, Survey Two captured a lull where we saw workers hours return to normal in most instances, PPE supplies increase and most protcols return to normal.
Watch the Webinar by Dr Jessie Childs here
Survey Three: Captured the Delta outbreak
In summary, Survey Three captured the Delta outbreak and saw sonographers work hours largely unaffected and PPE supplies staying at high levels. Sonographers were overall reporting that they felt safer, with the impact to practice being less severe than the intial Covid outbreak. There are significant changes being documented in sonographer wellbeing across the three surveys with wellbeing levels seen to be decreasing and this has instigated some more questions to be addressed in an additional and final survey, Survey Four.
Survey Four: Omicron outbreak
This survey was added to the research project to capture the Omicron outbreak. This study aims to capture the protocol changes, impact on examinations, wellbeing of sonographers and the status of ultrasound in Australasia at the time of the Omicron outbreak. This research will inform future policy and document this important time during the pandemic.