Extended scope of practice
There are several situations where an extended scope of practice for sonographers provides an innovative solution to increasing demands on the healthcare systems in Australia and New Zealand. Extended scope of practice can be defined as:
- optimising full scope of practice
- extending scope of practice in appropriate contexts; and
- delegate tasks to the support workforce to enable full scope and extended scope.
In other countries, sonographers can be required to provide different or extended responsibilities than is generally expected of sonographers in Australia and New Zealand. For example, in the United Kingdom, it can be assumed that the ultrasound report should be written and issued by the sonographer undertaking the ultrasound examination.
The Queensland Government Ministerial Taskforce on health practitioner expanded scope of practice: final report identified that training sonographers to perform musculoskeletal therapeutic steroid injections and produce independent reports has the potential to increase patient access to service and reduce wait times for services.
In support of this work, the ASA commissioned research which evaluated sonographers administering ultrasound-guided musculoskeletal injections on defined outcomes related to patient safety (e.g. expected incidence rates for complications) and patient satisfaction.
Find the results from this research here: Patient satisfaction and incidence of adverse events during a trial of sonographer administered musculoskeletal injections
For more information, read the FAQs on Sonographer administered ultrasound-guided MSK injections
The ASA is committed to ensuring that all sonographers have the opportunity and capacity for career progression and personal and professional extension.