AbstractsMedical & Health Science

A framework of learning experiences in ultrasound scanning

by G Crofts

Institution: University of Salford
Department: school of health sciences
Year: 2009
Record ID: 1403351
Full text PDF: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/26629/


This thesis explores learning experiences in ultrasound scanning by examining the ways that sonographers, at various stages in their professional development, scan patients. The qualitative study developed a framework, the themed content of which emerged from the sonographers' own narratives of their learning experiences. The focus on, and the consequent analysis of the sonographers' narratives at different points in their learning led to the construction of a staged framework. The study's sample was designed to cover a broad spectrum of experience and was divided into two groups, differentiated by their qualification status. Purposive sampling was used, recruiting ten participants who recounted their learning experiences to the researcher. The researcher took the role of participant observer. Data was generated via direct observation of sonographers in their working context and the use of semi-structured interviews facilitated the telling of narratives of the individual's learning experiences. These narratives were then formally analysed to seek a better understanding of why the subject performed in the way that they did. The resulting framework was constructed from the analyses of the narratives; it comprises seven stages ranging from 'starting to scan' to 'excellence in scanning'. This Framework of Learning Experiences in Ultrasound Scanning is the first experiential framework of its kind which shows how progress in scanning develops over time. Its focus on process also adds empirical evidence to the sparse literature concerning scanning performance. The framework is foundational in the sense that it has potential implications for curricula, training, and service delivery related to the Sonographers' profession and role. However, the intent of the framework is to understand better the experience of learning to scan and therefore it is a necessary precursor to any future work that seeks to apply that understanding to practice.