Understanding Sonography Clinical Decision-Making Learning Through Student Voices

Jenny H. Sim, Kerry Thoirs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sonographers assume an important role in providing accurate diagnosis for prompt patient management. The manual task of scanning competency is driven by a high level of cognitive function in the form of clinical decision making (CDM). It is therefore critical that sonography students are grounded in the CDM fundamentals as part of their sonography education. The aim of this article is to seek better understanding of student views on CDM learning to inform educators of strategies to better support student learning. The first part of the article describes how CDM for sonography students is being developed at The University of Auckland. The second part of the article explores student perspectives of CDM learning and the application of CDM in the workplace. Using purposive sampling, five clinical supervisors and two students participated in semistructured interviews. Focus groups with students were conducted at the end of each semester, between July 2014 and June 2016. Thematic analysis was used to analyze and make sense of the data. Based on these qualitative findings, the authors make recommendations to advance CDM within the sonography curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical decision making
  • education
  • sonography
  • students
  • trainees

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