Specialist Skill: Ultrasound

Minimum level of attainment required according to AIM curriculum Level 2 in a focussed ultrasound standardSee RCR focussed standards and RCR standards for medical specialtiesAlternatively, four or more focussed standards signed off at level 1 to show a broad skill base will be acceptable.

In both instances, ongoing logbook evidence of competency (20 scans/year) and a total of 5 reflective case studies will be required

Other possible qualifications in this skill Postgraduate Certificates in Medical Ultrasound (Abdominal/renal/thoracic USS) are run at several universities across the country·      Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Ultrasound at Teesside University (Focussed Echo/Shock/DVT/Abdominal & renal USS)·      Ultrasound in Emergency and Critical Care at King’s College, London (Cardiac & vascular/Abdominal & renal USS)
How to train in this skill Short courses: Yes – but not recommended for training, better perhaps as a ´taster´ to see if you like/are good at ultrasound.Distance learning courses: Yes – the Teeside & King´s College London courses are mainly distance learning, for instance the latter has 3 x 1 week blocks of lectures over the year.Part-time courses: Yes – all of the university courses can be studied part-time.

Full-time courses: Yes – but you would have to take an OOPE

Fellowships/Other paid posts: Yes – there are an increasing number of ultrasound fellowships available as an OOPE, often linked to critical care posts

Organised training schemes: Yes – the PG Certs, are relatively easy to get a place on the university course, but much more difficult to organise the practical placement, which you’ll need tenacity and determination for! You have to find somewhere and someone willing to train you for a session/week for about a year.

Self-organised training: No – this isn’t really possible currently.

For now you should be applying to the formal University training courses, but hopefully in the future there will be more courses directed at USS/Echo specifically for Acute Medicine.

Recommended courses or training programmes e-lfh have an online training module hereThere are various critical care ultrasound courses available (training in both echo and ultrasound), for example here
Likely financial cost of training in this skill The PG Certs cost approximately £2000 in university feesYou may also be charged for the practical scanning placement – for sonographer time per session.
General notes In all cases an anonymised logbook of scans should be kept demonstrating at least 20 ongoing scans per year. In addition, trainees should have 5 reflective cases where the focussed ultrasound has directly influenced patient management (entered as reflective logs on your ePortfolio).

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