Musculoskeletal ultrasound training within the UK does not currently have a recognised training pathway which all medical and allied health professions must undertake to develop competency.
This has led to multiple routes of training being developed , which can cause confusion for professionals looking to add this skill to their clinical practice. Training routes may involve courses from professional bodies, higher education institutions such as Universities or independent teaching organisations running CPD events.
At The Ultrasound Site we provide a range of training events, both as an indpendent organisation but also in partnership with Brunel University London. This means we have the expertise and events to meet all requirements when it comes to helping someone develop their MSK skills.
We also have a unique relationship with Orca Medical to support these events with a variety of high-quality ultrasound machines.
We have developed a number of different levels to help guide you on your journey of training. You can see these outlined below.
MSK ultrasound is used in many different professional settings now and so the training requirements for those can vary hugely. We appreciate and understand this, so it may be that you need to consider what you need to achieve with regards to your professional scope of practice. You may also wish to start at Level 1 or 2, it is not an absolute pathway and is intended to offer guidance.
We are of course always available to receive your questions and comments via the contact forms on the website or via our email [email protected]
MSK Ultrasound PG Cert
Our exciting partnership with Brunel Unviersity London offers a standalone PG Cert MSK ultrasound qualification. This course is also accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) for UK based clinical placements.
We are delighted to announce this program in collaboration with Brunel University London.
We are taking applications for the 2020/2021 cohort starting September 2020!
Our weekend musculoskeletal ultrasound courses
Level 1 Foundation level training
Level 1 Foundation level training is likely to enable you to understand what ultrasound is and to develop some basic skills to manipulate a probe. We have a close working relationship with Orca Medical who provide a foundation level training event via their Orca Pod package, which enables you to hire an ultrasound system at home and receive some tuition on its use to get a basic understanding of how to visualise a structure, move a probe and consider the next steps of your training.
Free MSK Ultrasound evening
An informal evening to get hands on with an ultrasound system, find out about training routes and meet tutors. Kindly supported by Sonon and Orca Medical.
Level 2 Introduction level training
Introductory level skills will likely be achieved by attending to a two day, intensive weekend course or from attending a formal University based training program. The aims of this level of training will include to develop the following skills
- Explore different types of ultrasound systems and establish what you need in your practice.
- Understand the basic physics principles underpinning the use of diagnsotic ultrasound including artefacts.
- Understand the appearance of different tissue structures eg muscle, bone, nerve.
- Develop practical skills to optimise an ultrasound system and manipulate a probe correctly to see a structure.
- Understand the importance of clinical governance and professional issues around ultrasound practice.
- Develop the practical skills to be able to visualise key musculoskeletal structures under ultrasound eg tendons, nerves , muscles for a number of peripheral joints.
The key aim of this level is to develop the practical skill to generate a high quality ultrasound image of a structure in a safe manner, and then to consider implementing this in your practice with support.
Introduction to diagnostic MSK ultrasound course
Our introductory two day course is the ideal start to your understanding and learning of diagnostic MSK ultrasound – small groups, dynamic lectures and lots of practical time covering the majority of peripheral MSK structures..all with passionate tutors!
Introduction to MSK Ultrasound in Rheumatology
We welcome Dr Qasim Akram, Consultant Rheumatologist to The Ultrasound Site teaching faculty. This is a fantastic one day course for any clinician interested in understanding the use of ultrasound imaging in Rheumatological conditions.
Foot and ankle MSK ultrasound: An introduction for Podiatrists
This one day course provides an ideal introduction for Podiatrists on the topic of foot and ankle musculoskeletal ultrasound.
Level 3 Integration into clinical practice
Integration into clinical practice requires the practical implementation of MSK ultrasound into your place of work. This will often be achieved by clinical mentorship and further formal teaching on recognition of pathology. This is often a key part of a University based program, often with a requirement to record a number of scans with supervision from an appropriately qualified mentor. The broad aims of this level of training would be to
- Develop the ability to recognise different pathological appearances associated with musculoskeletal structures
- Accurately and autonomously perfrom an ultrasound investigation approrpiately and safely.
- Be able to accurately and unambiguously report the findings of the ultrasound investigation.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound mentoring group days
We know it is a hard skill to conquer! So we offer small tutorial group mentoring days. Further dates to be confirmed.
Level 4 Advanced level training
There is an ongoing commitment tocontinuous professional development , and further advancing MSK ultrasound skills is an important aspect of this , whatever your professional background. Attending an advanced musculoskeletal ultrasound course will often enable you to develop your skills further by highlighting more challenging ligamentous, muscular and tendinous structures as well as tracking nerves.
Clinical use of ultrasound imaging around the shoulder
Covering the evidence base, reasoning and guided procedures! A challenging and unique course asking the tough questions of ultrasound imaging and injections around the shoulder. What does it add?When should we inject?
Advanced MSK Ultrasound course
A long awaited and new course to offer further learning opportunities to those who have attended our introductory level course and who want to progress their skills further!
Unsure where to start your training?
Or confused as to what the next step should be?
Please get in touch! We have a significant amount of experience in supporting medical and allied health professionals progress their learning and skills with musculoskeletal ultrasound and are happy to provide advice and guidance. Please use the contact form below or drop us an email at [email protected]
Would you like us to visit you to deliver a course in your country or department?
We are always open to discussing the possibility of visiting other countries and individuals to offer specific training courses. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further at [email protected]
Q. How do I know that this course is of high quality?
All the lecturers on our courses have completed formal training MSK Sonography and have been using MSK Ultrasound for several years. Crucially, they are clinicians with many years experience of integrating ultrasound into their practice alongside other forms of imaging such as MRI giving a great breadth of experience to enable them to teach ultrasound in the correct clinical context.
Several teach on PG Cert MSK Ultrasound University based courses as guest lecturers, and present at different events each year. The lecturers are also members of executive committees of professional organisations such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, The Royal College of Radiologists and British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine, so are very familiar with MSK ultrasound and injection therapy development within different professional roles.
Q. Do we get to use the ultrasound machines?
We know the importance of hands-on practice when scanning! As we’ve been there when we were learning! So we can reply with a massive YES! The course is designed with high lecturer:student ratios, with on average a lecturer for every 5 students. We have a large number of machines to ensure that as much time as possible is spent with the students scanning under close supervision. We understand the subtlety of moving a probe to ensure you achieve a high quality diagnostic image. We try to provide a selection of machines including hand held mobile devices, laptop systems and cart based – this gives you the ideal opportunity to trial systems and work out what might suitable for you.
Q. Do you lease or sell ultrasound systems?
No, we are purely focussed on the educational experience. We do however have links with ultrasound system providers who can provide you with exclusive leasing rates if you attend one of our courses.
Q. Does this qualify me as a sonographer?
Surprisingly, a sonographer is not a protected title and therefore anyone can theoretically call themselves a ‘sonographer’. I guess a better way to pose this question would be ‘does this deem me competent to perform ultrasound in the setting I wish to use it in?’. Well, this depends on the setting and the local governance but essentially this course is designed as an important first step for people who are considering an ultrasound qualification, or who are interested in learning ultrasound to give them an idea of how ultrasound may fit into their practice. The course can also serve as a refresher, perhaps for certain joints.
To undertake a formal qualification which would lead you to be able to work in for example Radiology departments within the NHS you would need to progress on to complete a PG Cert qualification on a CASE accredited course. This course would place you in a strong position before starting your CASE course. We are creating a University accredited CASE course at the moment and hope to release news in early 2018!
Q. How do I know if I am scanning things correctly?
Because we have a large ratio of lecturers to students, there will be someone overseeing and teaching with each group for as much time as possible throughout the day to ensure that you are handling the probe correctly and there are lots of tips on image optimisatio and use of the machine technology to get the best image! Basically, we will be peering over your shoulder! After the course you can also join us on our Medshr group, to keep touch and share images for feedback and as a record of your ongoing learning.
Q. What are the advantages of doing this course?
The advantages of doing this course is that all of the tutors have extensive experience of working with ultrasound and ultrasound guided injections working within busy Radiology, NHS , Private and Sports injuries clinics..we have it all covered! Most importantly, we are enthusiastic and passionate about teaching..that is why we set this up in our spare time! We also provide you with all the educational content on a USB.
Q. What are the terms and conditions for refunds and bookings?
All details for the refund policy and bookings terms and conditions can be found HERE
Q. Do I need to have scanned before in order to attend a course?
For our Introductory MSK Ultrasound course..No. We have many people who attend the course who have little, or no, previous scanning experience. This course is designed to accommodate people who have no previous scanning experience and are interested in learning from scratch. However, as mentioned above, it is also a very useful learning experience for people with some scanning background as well.
For our injection courses it is best to have attended the Introductory course first. Have a read of this blog as well to gain some more ideas on why developing your diagnostic skills first is a good idea.
Q. Do you provide training to whole departments?
We are able to travel and provide a customised training program for a group of clinicians in a department. For further discussion email us at [email protected]
Q. Does this course qualify me to perform ultrasound guided injections in my workplace?
No. In order to perform image guided injections in your workplace you must conform to local guidelines and competency requirements. This course, however, may form part of your CPD and learning if you are looking to start performing ultrasound guided injections, or as a top-up course as part of your continuing CPD.
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What our attendees say
“The Intro to MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound 2 day course is a perfect start to developing this fantastic skill. The tutors are exceptionally knowledgable, approachable and skilled in teaching. It is a very practical course with excellent tutor and machine to pupil ratios. Important topics such as basic physics and training pathways are also discussed. I would highly recommend to any MSK clinician interested in integrating diagnostic US into their practice.”
”I was very impressed with the one day MSK ultrasound guided injection course run by The Ultrasound Site. Teaching ultrasound guided injections to clinicians from a wide variety of specialities and experiences on a single day is no easy task. The tutors were knowledgable, enthusiastic and extremely well prepared. Their passion for the use of ultrasound was impressive and I expect this one day course to continue to evolve and get even better.”
Keep up the good work Stuart, Rob and Dave!’
“I recently attended the cadaveric musculoskeletal ultrasound guided injection course run by The Ultrasound Site and was highly impressed. The course is run by a variety of friendly and approachable health care professionals. Ranging from an musculoskeletal radiology consultant to extended scope physiotherapists who regularly scan and inject patients. This variety allows you to see the different types of approach/styles people use when injecting and gives you a chance to practice those different styles and see which one suits you best.The course is very well organised and with a limited number of participants it means you can practice as much as you want and have the tutors on hand to guide you if you are having difficulties”