The cardiac sonography workforce in New Zealand
Buckley, Belinda; White, Steve; Poppe, Katrina; Whalley, Gillian
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Citation:Buckley, B., White, S., Poppe, K., and Whalley, G. (2013). The cardiac sonography workforce in New Zealand. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 16(2) : pp. 77-85.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2594
Abstract Introduction: The aim of this paper is to investigate the cardiac sonography workforce characteristics and registration requirements in New Zealand (NZ), with a comparison to similar workforces internationally. Methods: The Survey of Clinical Echocardiography in New Zealand 2 (SCANZ2) audit was performed in December 2010. All of NZ’s public-funded District Health Board (DHB) centers providing echocardiography services responded to questions relating to staff, equipment, procedure types and patient statistics. The Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB), Clinical Physiologists Registration Board (CPRB) and Australian Sonographers Association Registry (ASAR) websites were reviewed in March 2012 for registered sonographers with a cardiac scope of practice. The cardiac sonography workforces in Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada were investigated for comparison. Results: There are 84 cardiac sonographers (60.3 full-time equivalent) working in DHBs: 71% from a cardiac technical background; 40% have post-graduate qualifications; a further 17% are undertaking post-graduate qualifications; and 59 cardiac sonographers have registration with professional bodies in NZ and/or Australia. Cardiac sonographers in NZ do not undergo compulsory registration, but other sonographers in NZ have compulsory registration with the MRTB. Sonographers are predominantly not licensed internationally. Discussion: Disparity exists between registration of cardiac and non-cardiac sonographers in NZ. Many cardiac sonographers have voluntary registration but few are registered with the MRTB. Reasons for this include professional alignment, educational qualifications and representation. International trends show increased pressure from governments and professional bodies to regulate sonographers. Conclusion: This study provides a snapshot of the cardiac sonography workforce in NZ for the first time