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Uncovering the managed heart of Australian sonographers: Professionalism and emotional labour in routine obstetric ultrasound

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posted on 28.03.2022, 23:53 by Sarah Emily Cameron
Short Abstract: Professionalism and emotional labour practices are integral to sonographers' performances of routine obstetric ultrasounds. This study utilised thematic analysis of thirty interviews with Australian sonographers to reveal their engagement with the invisible practices of professionalism and emotional labour. The key themes uncovered can be described as processes (professionalism, impression management, and emotional labour) and products (expert images, and the cyborg foetus). In uncovering these practices, it becomes apparent that the performance of the sonographer in the social aspects of pregnancy care as well as the medical is vastly more complex than previously envisioned. Practices of professionalism and emotional labour are integral to sonographers' performances of routine obstetric ultrasounds. Sonographers possess the ability to negotiate the increasingly complex requirements of diagnostic screening tests conducted during routine obstetric ultrasound. This ability is juxtaposed with their capacity to meet patient expectations of positive social interactions and the production of ultrasound images as baby's first pictures. This research utilised thematic analysis of thirty interviews with Australian sonographers to uncover their engagement with the invisible practices of professionalism and emotional labour. The key themes uncovered can be categorised into processes and products. The processes were performative as sonographers engaged with professionalism, impression management, and emotional labour. The products were the creation of expert images and the cyborg fetus, each of which has implications for sonographers beyond the medical context of the scan room. In uncovering the practices of professionalism and emotional labour, it becomes apparent that the role of the sonographer in the social aspects of pregnancy care as well as the medical is vastly more complex than previously envisioned. Such a discovery highlights the need for industry recognition of professionalism and emotional labour as specific functions of the sonographer's role, and the need for provisions to be made for training and supporting sonographers in these invisible skills.

History

Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1: Is sonography a profession? -- Chapter 2: The sonographer's dilemma -- Chapter 3 : The processes and products of routine obstetric ultrasound -- Chapter 4 : The bonding continuum -- Conclusion

Notes

Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 89-94

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award

2017

Principal Supervisor

Greg Downey

Rights

Copyright Sarah Emily Cameron 2017 Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (vii, 107 pages) : illustration

Former Identifiers

mq:71256 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1272436