Push and pull factors impacting the pedagogical approaches used by sonographers to teach scanning skills

Delwyn Nicholls, Linda Sweet, Jon Hyett, Amanda Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To report the qualitative findings of the inaugural survey of sonographer skill-teaching practices in Australia using the SonoSTePs tool. Method: A national cross-sectional survey of all qualified sonographers registered with the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry. A mix of quantitative and qualitative data was collected. This paper reports on a content analysis of the qualitative data relating to factors that impact on teaching. Results: A total of 528 respondents provided a range of qualitative data in five extended text questions. Five key themes emerged from the analysis: limited protected teaching time; perceived skill complexity; learner skill level and credentials; avoiding overwhelming the learner; and patient well-being and their willingness to be scanned. Novel teaching interactions between the educator and the student sonographer were identified. Information was provided to learners at four time-points across the continuum of clinical practice performance. The type, quantity and purpose of the information provided by the educator to the learner differed at each of these four time-points and included the following: (i) pre-task clarification, guidance and practice norms; (ii) in-task verbal information and scanning support; (iii) post-task support and information; and (iv) end-task or terminal feedback. Conclusion: This is the first published study which reports the push and pull factors affecting pedagogical approaches to teach and learn complex scanning skills. These results provide a corpus of new knowledge, and the first analysis and review, about the pedagogical findings related to teaching scanning skills for clinical practice. This study provides a basis for further research and practice improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date14 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • cognitive load
  • feedback
  • physical guidance
  • psychomotor skill
  • ultrasound


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