Point-of-care ultrasound by physicians in the emergency setting may pose a threat to sonographers, but they need to find ways to “be part of the solution” rather than worrying about losing business, Marsha Neumyer, BS, RVT, a former president of the Society for Vascular Ultrasound told the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco on June 1.
“We’ve faced a lot of threats to what we consider to be our field over the decades,” said Neumyer. “We should seize the opportunity and not be afraid because it’s something new.”
The trend may provide sonographers with opportunities to train physicians in vascular ultrasound and to provide follow-up to imaging done in an emergent situation, she said. Neumyer said she was encouraged to see the increase in credentialing in ultrasound by emergency physicians, which will help ensure high-quality exams.
Still, she suggested that sonographers stay involved with practice issues around point-of-care to reduce its potential down sides. For instance, a hospital with a 24-hour vascular laboratory could end up with duplication of services if both sonographers and emergency physicians wield ultrasound devices. She also advocated for systems to ensure quality of ultrasound exams in point-of-care situations.
“Point of care is likely here to stay,” she observed. “We should be and will be part of the solution.”
–Jan Greene, Mint staff writer