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University pioneers ultrasound qualification for healthcare professionals


Patients to benefit from new ultrasound qualification developed by Sheffield Hallam University

A new postgraduate qualification in ultrasound practice has been developed by Sheffield Hallam University to ensure health professionals offering scans are competent and safe to practice.

The University has a national reputation for excellence in ultrasound education and training. It already offers six specialist postgraduate certificates in medical, obstetrics and gynaecological, abdominal, vascular and echocardiography ultrasound.

But health professionals including GPs, midwives, physiotherapists, sports scientists and nurses can be trained to carry out an ultrasound examination for such things as early pregnancy, infertility, deep vein thrombosis, muscoskeletal and renal problems but do not have a recognised qualification.

Helen Best, discipline leader for diagnostic radiography at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This new qualification is targeted at professionals working in a very focused area of ultrasound. They have received some sonographic training but have not completed a full award.

“This postgraduate certificate will ensure they are competent to practice and, by studying the underlying physical principles of ultrasound, are safe practitioners.”

The one-year course will be launched in September and has been validated by the Consortium of Accreditation for Sonographic Education (CASE).

It is competency-based with course work and structured assessments throughout. All students would be expected to have a minimum of two days per week practicing sonography in their area of practice and must also produce a professional portfolio in clinical competence.

The clinical training needed to gain competencies is mainly provided in-house, with the course team working closely with clinical departments to support and monitor students.

An integral part of the course is flexibility. Helen added: “It is a modular programme allowing access for students of different clinical backgrounds. Predominantly work-based it provides clear routes to an award in common areas of practice with the opportunity for experienced and practicing sonographers to take part in continued professional development.

“We believe we have answered a problem that will have real benefits for the quality of service provided to patients.”

Laura Mark | alfa
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