UWE develops sonography hands-on training to accelerate patient care

The University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol has secured funding from NHS England for a project to further develop sonographers’ skills and enable them to expand and advance their field of practice.

Sonographers in the UK are developing their clinical skills in interventional procedures in order to help alleviate long patient waiting lists. To facilitate this, many sonographers will require additional training to acquire new skills and knowledge. Clinical sonographers are well placed to extend their practice and establish new and innovative approaches to imaging and reporting.

Potential areas of practice include biopsies of the prostate, breast, liver, renal, thyroid etc; cyst drainage; paracentesis; amniocentesis; MSK steroid injection; and hysterosalpingo contrast sonography.

Acquiring these skills requires hands-on training so the university will be organising a number of themed workshops facilitated by advanced practitioners, using ultrasound equipment, phantoms and anatomical models. Each student will then be paired with a clinical expert mentor and will spend time working with their mentor in clinical practice.

Students will also have the opportunity to obtain academic credits for their learning, by completing an assessed academic module. All training is fully funded and no academic costs will be incurred by students. The funding is intended for sonographers based in the south-west of England and is available for sonographers working in the region in the private sector where NHS contracts are in place.

The project will be monitored longer term to identify any challenges and opportunities for further development, and to quantify the impact on clinical practice within the region.

Anyone interested in taking part can contact visiting professor Dr Vivien Gibbs. Sonographers with advanced practice skills who would be interested in participating as a mentor are also encouraged to get in touch.

Picture: Project leads UWE visiting professor Dr Vivien Gibbs and UWE College for Health, Science and Society pro-vice chancellor and head Professor Marc Griffiths.

Published on page 4 of the August 2023 issue of RAD Magazine.

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