Research Article

Obstetric ultrasonography: wider role for radiographers?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 11 January 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:113
  1. J B Witcombe,
  2. A Radford


    Most obstetric ultrasound scanning is carried out by radiographers, who have professional constraints that forbid them to disclose the result of any investigation to any patient or to hold themselves as professionally qualified to diagnose. A nationwide survey was carried out to explore the paramedical aspects of obstetric ultrasound services and determine how radiographers reconcile their professional constraints with the needs and expectations of patients. It was concluded that over 70% of obstetric scanning in the United Kingdom is carried out by radiographers who tell patients some results and report both numerical and interpretational data to referring clinicians. This survey suggests that constraints on radiographers who perform obstetric ultrasonography are excessively restrictive and conflict with everyday clinical demands. The medical supervision of some obstetric ultrasound units should be improved, and partners of patients should not be encouraged to expect access to obstetric scans unless radiographers have close medical support.