It’s that time of year again; when we have to not only renew our credentials, but pay a premium to an organization that represents themselves as the credentialing body of the sonography industry in the United States. The #ARDMS, or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, under their parent umbrella company #Inteleos, recently sent out a renewal postcard highlighting a new webinar discussing work-related musculoskeletal disorders and how to lower your risk for them. YAYYY!!!!!!!!! This webinar was marketed as follows:
ARDMS is proud to present Lowering Your Risk for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD). This webinar will provide a brief update on the 2021 longitudinal survey of all ultrasound users and discuss the reported rate of musculoskeletal discomfort, headaches, and eye strain.”
First, let’s give a grand round of applause for the mere existence of this webinar!! We appreciated all the feedback that we received from ultrasound users, myself included, who saw this as an absolute industrial win for those who have been suffering with #WRMSD injuries in this industry for decades without any real action from the ARDMS. Thanks to the extremely intentional work for safety in sonography by Ultrasafe Ultrasounds, backing up sonographer safety through education, empowerment, and yes, even litigation, we can confidently say without a shadow of a doubt that Ultrasafe Ultrasound’s groundbreaking work has fundamentally changed the fabric of accountability in diagnostic medical sonography!! THIS IS ANOTHER WIN FOR US ALL! Y’all can do a happy dance over that one, yas!
Secondly, lets also examine that this webinar is being included on a postcard that is being sent to hundreds of thousands, if not more, users of ultrasound. This means that it meant enough to their marketing team and C-Suite to make sure that users associate this work with their organization. This was also evident in Inteleo’s failed lawsuits against Ultrasafe Ultrasounds, as they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to ensure that we would no longer be able to hold the mirror up to them and reflect their profound failure in keeping an impassioned workforce safe. A workforce made up of those who literally put their physical and mental well-being at risk each day to save the lives of those under their transducers. A workforce made up of hundreds of thousands who do not feel supported or represented by their credentialing body as burnout, short staffing, and career ending injuries are still prevalent and running wild in the diagnostic sonography community. Which brings me to my third point…
This 2021 survey did not capture stats for “all” ultrasound users, as the description for this webinar for Lowering Your Risk for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders reads. That can be said with confidence as I myself am an ultrasound user and did not participate in this 2021 longitudinal study. However, I did participate in a 2020 survey, conducted and captured by Ultrasafe Ultrasounds, in which we examined some hard questions that needed answers from those who were affected the most. The ones on the ground level, not up in the C-suite or those benefiting from those relationships. We asked thousands of sonographers with confirmed WRMSDs about their experience in diagnostic medical sonography as it pertains to their injury, their career, their health and wellness, and how that affects their life as a whole, both before and after their participation in this industry.
The results of these 2020 polls, published in The Sonographer Specific Work-Related Musculoskeletal Soft Tissue Recovery Offensive Playbook, were made available in January 2021; the same time, LIKE THE SAME DAY HERE PEOPLE, (talk about bypassing the bureaucratic red tape) that the marketing team for Inteleos, (ARDMS’s umbrella company) reached out to us about our peer reviewed, well researched, and quite frankly, amazing game changing, cited literature.
Since that time, we have been astonished to see how much progress has been made on bringing WRMSDs from the back burner to the forefront of accountability. As of today, take a look at how many webinars are listed on the ARDMS’s website prioritizing WRMSD’s. Yes you see that right, if you went to check it out, just one.
Ultrasafe Ultrasounds produces RESULTS! Since inception in May 2020, our steadfast goal has always and only been optimizing safety for ourselves, our #sonographers, and our patients. Whether that was through infection control, injury prevention, or through staffing #ultrasonographers so they had great organizations to work for that value their safety and expertise, we produced results! Results that benefitted both the employer & the employee. The staff & the student. The healthy & the healing.
We didn’t talk the talk without walking the walk. We didn’t make recommendations without making solutions to go along with them. We did not run our mouths or post anything without substantiated data to back up our conclusions. And we never took for granted how important the grind was to save lives. And not just the lives of our patients. The life of the sonographer who works until it hurts. Who works while it hurts. Who works because they love it. Who works because they have no choice. Who works hard to get better just so they can go back to work and get re-hurt. Who works until they literally can’t anymore. Who works until they are disabled.
So how did Ultrasafe Ultrasounds successfully change the landscape of #sonography ?
- We were the first to scrape the Internet in 2020 to collect, organize, dissect, and rebuild all available research, peer-reviewed literature, data, and more that was available from both safety and sonography industry leaders. This RESULTED in us discovering the gaps of resources available to minimize risk of injury in diagnostic ultrasound and RESULTED in the literature we use in our ErgoMechanics Course for Preventing Injury in Ultrasound. The one Inteleos was hot to get their hands on and share within 24 hours of publish. More importantly, we made our results readily available to anyone who would benefit from minimizing this risk… Which let’s face it, is pretty much everyone, amirite?
- We took all recommendations available from the sonography industry leaders and the safety industry leaders and combined it with the feedback from thousands of sonographers with confirmed WRMSDs, students in sonography programs training to join the workforce, as well as other established healthcare providers who were cross training into the ultrasound imaging modality. This explosive combination RESULTED in creating the #CaptheCaseload Campaign, meant to educate on how critical a stopping point is in ordering exam after exam after exam and expecting someone’s finite soft tissue to endure without respite. It also RESULTED in the globally recognized Sonographers Spill the Tea podcast, meant to say the things no one is allowed to say in the small world of ultrasound without fear of retaliation… lol which is hilarious given what we had to endure to tell the truth about our and others experience in this “suffer in silence” industry or risk being blacklisted.
- We joined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s stakeholders after tremendous interactions with them RESULTED in an update to their website from the 2008 version to better reflect standards of safety in sonography in a post pandemic setting and RESULTED in a updated Whistleblower protections for temp workers after we saw favor in our own Whistleblower case filed just before the establishment of our company in 2020, when we realized if we didn’t do anything to step up for safety in sonography, then we had no right to complain about it. So… we did the most instead, lol.
- We built a certification program specifically tailored to benefit both employers and employees who participated in optimizing safety in sonography that RESULTED in nationwide certifications recognizing employers who went the extra mile to establish a safe workplace, as well as employees who went the extra mile training to understand their sonographer shoulder and how to optimize it’s safety through comprehensive training in ergonomics and applied biomechanics of the body… Which of course y’all know RESULTED in the introduction of the LIVE offering of ErgoMechanics as well as amazing staffing opportunities for sonographers across the United States. So sorry for those out of the states who we were unable to serve in staffing, but we were SO proud and humble to teach both in person and online!
- We were the first to combine the essential study of the body’s biomechanics with that of ergonomic mindfulness as it pertains specifically to sonography. Due to it’s vast range of specialties and clinical settings, you cannot bring in an ordinary egronomist into an ultrasound room and expect for them to give you applicable static solutions in a very dynamic setting. Moreover, you cannot expect the sonographer to fully comprehend what their body will experience during repetitive image acquisition if you do not train them adequately. SOOOOOO…. WE TRAINED THEM! We had to create an entire course to do it full of more deep dives than a submersible, but we DID IT and it has RESULTED in hundreds of sonographers, both staff and student, becoming more empowered to remain safe in their workplace and provide exceptionally clear headed care for their patient by remaining as pain-free while serving in sonography as possible. (Help change that stat from hundreds to thousands by signing up yourself or your team today and access the only comprehensive course for preventing injury in diagnostic medical sonography, currently available and in use for teams in the clinical and academic setting)
- Everyone looking to study sonography must have an extraordinary understanding of not just anatomy, physiology, and pathology and not just of knobology and image optimization. But of how to achieve longevity for their sonographer shoulder and career, through an adequate understanding of ergonomics and biomechanics specific to diagnostic medical ultrasound users. Training in ErgoMechanics fills the gap for the comprehensive educational resource needed to actually reduce the risk of injury. This is achieved by giving folks all the information that’s available in a fun, fact filled course and not with brief updates on information that is never made available outside of business operations. We have DMS programs across the country who provide this course for their students’ comprehensive curriculum and multiple distributors who we partnered with to make the content as accessible to students as possible. Sign your cohort up here and don’t let another semester go by without giving your students ALL of the information they need to be successful in sonography.
- We created STR, an essential set of tools designed to achieve either Soft Tissue Recovery or Scar Tissue Rehabilitation. #STR is a great adjunct to #ErgoMechanics and can be achieved by doing the most basic things like remembering to take two deep breaths in and out to ensure you’re operating in the correct central nervous space or drinking a glass of water to hydrate your tissue to more complex things like understanding what muscle groups you’re activating during image acquisition and how your angles of insonation affect your angles of abduction and can contribute to how your body both applies and absorbs force on your soft tissue …which if not kept soft will become scar tissue. And if you’re not recovering, then your rehabilitating and nobody wants to do that or pay for that, so it is obviously in everyone’s best interest to reduce risk of injury. This RESULTED in a new lifestyle mindset for the sonography community with guided videos that are meant for them.
- Because the five minutes of STR at the end of each module of ErgoMechanic’s was not enough, we went even further thanks to their feedback. This RESULTED in the creation of our STR video collection that specifically guides through some of the best and most well received exercises targeting Sonographer Shoulder.
- We have seen more ergonomic and ultrasound companies pop up since the trailblazing release of ErgoMechanics and STR RESULTING in numbers we can’t keep up lol. But the sonography community is excellent at detective work and y’all keep up really good. Kudos! And while we love when y’all keep us in the loop to what’s going down in ultrasound town, because you care and advocate for safety in sonography right along with us, we kindly and humbly request that you please stop sending us pictures of different companies popping up asking if this is us, it’s not. Those are simply and affectionately what we call our “Ultra-Babies.”
Ultrasafe Ultrasounds Diagnostic Services, LLC has clearly been established as the “umbrella / parent company” to all other WRMSD content out there regarding Ultrasound, and that is the best gift that we can give and get from the community. The more companies that pop up, the more webinars that get created, the more transparent we can be, the more awareness we spread, the more lives we save. Period. The more our work gets disseminated, whether we get credit for it or not, the better our industry will be as a whole when it comes to providing comprehensive training and establishing accountability in ensuring a safe workplace for all involved in the use of diagnostic medical ultrasound. This awareness and prioritization for our providers’ safety and wellness inevitably trickles down to a better quality of care that the #sonographer can provide to their #patients, leading to better risk management and patient experience. This represents a gold standard of practice when tending to the healthcare needs of our brothers and sisters. Of someone’s mother or father, daughter or son. This is how Ultrasafe Ultrasounds changed the landscape of sonography. This is our legacy.
And it is in recognition of the draining, yet uplifting work of Ultrasafe Ultrasounds and their steadfast mission of achieving #safetyinsonography that we feel confident in the industry going forward to continue this work and make more mindful use of their resources, remembering that “in order to uplift an industry, we must create effective, positive, and productive change, as an industry.” JH. Whether it be through legislation, litigation, through podcasting, through case studies, posting videos or GIFS, or the countless other creative ways that sonographers have shown up to make their mark on safety in sonography, were cheering you on!! If you have a vision, don’t let anyone snuff it out. Go for broke and go for yours and know that as long as you’re doing what your heart is guiding you to do, you will not go wrong. And no amount of gas lighting or political red tape will be able to stop you. I’m not saying it won’t be painful, but I am saying it’ll be worth it!
You never know, you just might change the world =)
That being said, boundaries are important and what each of us stands for and will not stand for is extraordinarily relevant to our identities…
When I got into the ultrasound industry, I was excited and ready to learn as much as I could. Understanding what we were taught about the dynamics of healthcare and the fluidity of the human body in all of its anomalies was like a high of information you didn’t want to come down from. I wanted those letters behind my name. One system impacted another, one answer led to another question, everything was in real time on the screen, and you just want to be extraordinarily good at what you do and make sure you don’t miss anything because the stakes are too high… this is someone else’s life literally in your hand. The transducer is in the sonographer’s hand, which is what is producing a diagnostically sufficient image on the screen that will provide more answers to a puzzle that will ultimately affect this person’s life. Is your baby healthy, is there any blood flow or are they amputating, why did you have a stroke, has the cancer metastasized to another organ? The stakes are too high, the fears are real, and the responsibility is not to be taken lightly, but much like marriage, you must enter into each exam reverently and soberly. I don’t know a single sonographer that doesn’t respect the intense scope of practice of the diagnostic medical sonographer. It’s an extraordinarily gratifying and terrifying profession. Most importantly, it’s dangerous to be in if you’re not adequately trained and can affect your life to the extent that you will have a substantial before and after affect. Life before ultrasound and life after ultrasound.
If this is you, take moment to congratulate yourself on recognizing your boundary. I don’t know if you were right on time, too late, still contemplating, or have been long gone, but if you made it I salute you! I remember my journey throughout ultrasound, starting with wanting to help my patients, then leading to want help my peers, and escalating to I have to disrupt this entire industry for anyone to wake up enough and give a shit to get something done!! This is either going to go really, really good or really, really bad, but one way or another were going because I could see as clear as day what had to be done, and I could see it and prove it in three different planes and give you a detailed impression in medical terms, in English, in Spanish, in hypotheses & executed proven RESULTS, I could fingerspell it out, however you wanted it delivered to you. I was down, because the work mattered more than I could have ever prepared myself for.
This year is my triennium. By the 31st I have to submit 30 approved continuing medical education credits and pay another $85 to the organization that maliciously sued me AND my company this year. How about that? They know me well enough to spend an entire departments salary on bullshit lawsuits. And for what? Who did that help? How did that serve us well and represent our industry? And how the hell am I supposed to feel proud of my credentials when I am appalled and ashamed by them and who they represent. How am I supposed to pay my dues when the money I would be using is from an abusive lawsuit meant only to destroy and drain my resources, my energy, and my time. Knowing sonographers who is paying their dues this year is really paying for the settlement ruled in our favor and the legal fees this all cost, which was not cheap and a total waste of financial resources.
(After their loss in court, including the judge’s refusal to even listen to their motion for reconsideration and waste anymore of the courts time on bs, Inteleos expressed a keen interest in buying out Ultrasafe Ultrasounds Diagnostic Services, LLC. (I’m y’all sure can deduce how well that worked out, lol)
Note of context, we had ONE lawyer, Inteleos, Tricia Turner, and Joan Baker had EIGHT! … exactly. WTF do you need EIGHT lawyers for if not to intimidate and destroy, Fucking bullies.
Furthermore, it’s more insulting that all of my CME’s that I’d submit come from me giving lectures on ergonomics for other companies with MY work, who have been approved for CME’s recognized by the ARDMS, yet the 15 CME credits that ErgoMechanics was approved for in 2021 was stripped. (Y’all remember the SDMS blamed the unprofessional squirrel?)
Crazy huh? I get 10 CME’s here, eight CME’s there, 12 more CME’s for lecturing on someone else’s webinars, because I’m known and widely accepted as the subject expert, making it really easy to rack up 30 CMEs, especially when these lectures are not solely in this country, but yet, my work is in their target range to shoot down so I cannot perpetuate it on my own terms because it allegedly defames them?? Hey Tricia, if the shoe fits, wear it or change your shoes …that goes for you too Joan. Why on earth would I send in my CMEs for the ARDMS to audit and approve or disapprove? To continue to give them leverage to do all they can to blackball or discredit the validity of my work while working sooo hard at retaining the value of it? Is there an ounce of respect left in me for that organization that I would want their letters behind my name, let alone pay for it?? I remember being excited to get them, and now like a nasty divorce, I don’t want their name and my name next to each other. It feels grotesque and disingenuous. And I don’t do disingenuous, it’s an affront to my very nature.
So….that being said, I’m breaking up with the ARDMS this year!! (Ahhhhhh, that already feels better.) Your credentials do NOT deserve to be behind my name anymore, as they do not represent the gold standard of care that I hold myself to for my patients, for my family, and for myself. They represent an organization tainted with mistrust, injury, and greed. They are a distinguished pollutant and I rebuke them, and you, in Jesus name, Amen.
Wishing everybody a happy and prosperous new year in 2024!!
-Your advocates & friends at Ultrasafe Ultrasounds
Remember to STR, it’s free!! And so is joining our learning platform =) You can find our collection of quick guided STR videos, good for all ranges of motion and all healthcare providers prone to shoulder, back, and neck injuries as well as our raveley reviewed ErgoMechanics Course. Don’t rely on someone else to prioritize your health. Be proactive today and decide you’d rather be in the know about your sonographer shoulder and the industry you work so passionately in.
And while I haven’t broken up with #Ultrasound, just the ARDMS because they disgust me, going forward I’ll be taking a huge step back to focus on my health. I plan on enjoying the bridge we successfully built for safety in sonography to do it’s job, establishing the true gold standard of providing Ultrasafe Ultrasounds, for the benefit of patient, provider, and practice. Y’all please continue running with the content at full steam and allow our new host Ultra to be your guide going forward for all your service offering questions. =) She, like our business, was established solely for the purpose of achieving Safety in Sonography and will serve you well.
LEADERSHIP: To access bulk pricing on our Certified Course for Preventing WRMSDs in Diagnostic Ultrasound, please email email@example.com