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Promoting her chosen profession internationally

The Report: January / February 2001 vol.22 num.1

by YUKIE KURAHASHI

Lori Scherer
Ultrasound Technologist
Mission Memorial Hospital

Like many sonographers, Lori Scherer knew she wanted to pursue ultrasound "the minute" she walked into medical imaging. 

"I like sonography because I like people," she says. "I like the one-on-one contact with the patient, and I wish I had more opportunity to teach and promote my chosen profession."

Scherer feels so strongly about promoting sonography that she recently volunteered to participate at an international level. She is now serving a three-year term as Canadas representative on the Board of Directors of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. 

"The Society promotes sonography throughout the western world, and we are 12,000 members strong," Scherer explains. "Its the biggest organization for ultrasound technologists in the world."

Scherer says many Canadian sonographers choose to belong to the Society because it offers a wide range of educational programs, as well as a journal. 

The Society also underwrites studies into concerns that sonographers around the world hold in common. "We did a big research project through the University of Washington on repetitive strain injuries," she says. 

"This is a big topic in ultrasound. Were losing our shoulders and wrists and backs to these injuries. I suspect a nuber of sonographers do continue to work with some degree of pain."

However, Scherer sees better times ahead, thanks to lobbying efforts on behalf of all sonographers by organizations like SDMS and by unions representing sonographers. "I believe from an equipment standpoint, manufacturers are listening to what ultrasound technologists are saying. We are starting to see adjustable machines with keyboards and monitors that move, as well as beds and chairs that are adaptable. Theyre starting to listen," she says.

"On the downside, workload has increased. One of the ways to alleviate these injuries is by decreasing workload with proper scheduling, thereby allowing time for sonographers to stretch and allow the muscles some down time."

Lori Scherer trained at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, and has since worked in a variety of settings. "Ive been in the field for approximately 16 years. Ive worked in smaller community hospitals with 50 beds, as well as larger 1000-bed multi-trauma teaching institutions."

Scherer currently works at Mission Memorial Hospital, but has fond memories of working in northern BC. "I like the independent thinking and analytical ability that the job requires," she says. "Not a day goes by that you dont learn something. This is even more so in a small community. I remember theyd sometimes come into aerobics class in Dawson Creek to find me. I like the sense that Im a valued member of the medical community."

Lori Scherer invites sonographers to contact her at lscherer@sdms.org.

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