Dissertation Abstract

A Description of the Profession of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and an Analysis of the Correlation of Four Cognitive Abilities with the Clinical Performance of Practicing Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Publication Number:  AT8325198
Author:  Berman, Mimi
School:  New York University
Date:  1983
Pages:  207
Subject:  Diagnostic Medical Sonography

This descriptive research project encompassed four areas: the professional status of the field of diagnostic medical sonography; the relationship of four cognitive abilities (General Reasoning--RG, Flexibility of Closure--GF, Spatial Orientation--S, and Visualization--VZ) with successful performance of the role of the sonographer; an evaluation of trends in health care, socioeconomics, allied health, and technology which could affect the field of diagnostic medical sonography; a comparative study of the evolution of the fields of radiologic technology, nuclear medicine technology, and diagnostic medical sonography.

To gather information relating to the professional status of the sonographer, a questionnaire was mailed to 600 sonographers and 600 physicians who were randomly selected from membership lists of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Data for the correlative study of cognitive abilities and successful performance were gathered by testing 83 practicing sonographers using tests from the Kit of Factor-Referenced Cognitive Tests and by having performance evaluations completed by self, peers, and supervising physicians. Evidence of trends which could affect the field of diagnostic medical sonography was derived from newspaper and magazine articles, professional journals, and government publications. The fields of radiologic technology, nuclear medicine technology, and diagnostic medical sonography were compared using information available in professional journals, publications by professional organizations, and interviews with educators and practitioners.

It was found that diagnostic medical sonography is regarded as a profession by sonographers and physicians; however, physicians define its scope of practice and knowledge base more narrowly than do sonographers. The cognitive abilities which correlated with performance evaluation were RG with self, peer, and physician; CF with self and physician, and S with self. Having received formal rather than on-the-job training correlated with RG. Trends impacting on diagnostic medical sonography include patient consumerism, cost-containment measures promulgated by the Federal Government and profit-making management companies, sophistication of equipment, assertiveness of allied health professionals, and the predicted excess of physicians. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI.

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