How have our courses developed over the past few years?
We offer a range of musculoskeletal ultrasound course at The Ultrasound Site. We initially started to run these in 2013 as an expression of our enthusiasm for the topic and desire to learn more within our clinical practice. The Ultrasound Site has collaborated with different clinicians to run a variety of musculoskeletal ultrasound courses including introductory level, advanced level, Rheumatology focussed, Podiatric and musculoskeletal ultrasound guided injection training courses. These have taken place both within the UK but also we have acted as guest lecturers and presenters at international conferences and provided a number of bespoke training opportunities for professional sports clubs including rugby and football. We have also provided bespoke musculoskeletal ultrasound training for larger organisations and clinics including the internationally renowned Sports Medicine Clinic (SCC) in Dublin, Ireland.
Through our enthusiasm to teach musculoskeletal ultrasound we set ourselves high standards for both the teaching content but also the environment in which delegates learn. Over the past almost 10 years we have trialled almost every AV cable and TV set up possible! All to ensure the experience that our delegates receive and are exposed to is of the highest quality – to enable you guys to learn! . We therefore take significant pride in the quality of the presentations that we utilise, the organisation of the AV equipment including multiple live screens with video feeds from the ultrasound systems, and also now the provision of supplementary online MSK ultrasound teaching material. We also have a unique working relationship with Orca Medical who provide fantastic high quality ultrasound systems on all of our training events.
We have had the opportunity to work within a multi-disciplinary tutoring team with Radiologists, Rheumatologists, Sports and Exercise Medicine Consultants, Physiotherapists and Podiatrists all working with us to develop fantastic learning experiences. We also tried a number of different ways to develop a musculoskeletal ultrasound community and now have a Private Facebook community practice that is growing every day. See the graphic below.
In 2019, we were thrilled to develop a partnership with Brunel University London, and in collaboration with the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) we designed and launched a musculoskeletal postgraduate certificate (PG Cert). This provides a formal qualification for competency based assessment at Brunel University London. This is a fantastic programme to be involved with and is unique in that all the tutors are full-time clinicians within point-of-care and radiology roles as well as have an experience of NHS musculoskeletal services and private practice. Our clinicians are highly experienced working at advanced practice level within Physiotherapy point of care services and as Consultant musculoskeletal sonographers in Radiology settings. Details of the Brunel PG Cert MSK Ultrasound course can be found here.
GAIN ACCESS TO OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK MSK ULTRASOUND COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
By attending our musculoskeletal ultrasound training courses you will gain access to your tutors in our private, Facebook community of MSK Ultrasound practice with specific groups for upper and lower limb MSK Ultrasound pathology, discussing anonymised cases and articles of interest. We also have groups for upper and lower limb guided injection techniques, discuss your techniques – what went well, what could be improved and what the evidence is. Lastly, but importantly we have established groups on training and governance.
We are also lucky that members of our tutoring team play an active role in musculoskeletal ultrasound course and training standards within the UK and provide support and knowledge from a musculoskeletal perspective to the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education. Tutors are also members of a number of national professional committees within Physiotherapy.
When should I consider an introductory weekend course or a formal University qualification?
We often have enquiries with professionals looking to explore understand and how they are often trying to make sense of the different training routes available within musculoskeletal ultrasound. The landscape is confusing and there is no established single route of training. This is in part born out of the lack of regulation or protection of title of the term ‘sonographer’. We find that professionals often like to attend an introductory weekend with us initially to explore the topic and understand the requirements, both from a practical learning perspective but also when considering how to implement it into their clinics appropriately. A number will then go on to complete a formal postgraduate certificate training programme which gives a qualification and often enables clinicians to work solely in a sonography capacity in diagnostic services whether that be within a radiology service in the NHS or in stand-alone diagnostic clinics.
When should I consider an ultrasound-guided injection training course?
We are very clear in our position on when we should advise individuals to start to perform ultrasound-guided injections and that is only once you have developed a degree of competency in using musculoskeletal ultrasound in isolation. There are many reasons for this and we have outlined these in more detail in an accompanying blog which can be found here. Increasingly professionals are looking to develop ultrasound-guided injection techniques with increasing evidence regarding accuracy and the benefits from a medico-legal perspective. It is very important however that the standard of these procedures is high and that individuals have an ability to interrogate, understand and generate a high quality ultrasound image alongside the performance of a guided technique. It must also not be underestimated that this is a challenging skill to develop and requires a high level of fine motor skills to coordinate the probe and the needle together in a safe manner.
We will support you
We understand that the landscape regarding musculoskeletal ultrasound training can be confusing and we are more than happy to arrange individual telephone call consultations to help support you and advise you on how you should approach tackling this skill. Often the best way to reach us initially is to send an email to [email protected] and we will reply promptly to help support you and take your journey forwards.