Small Animal Veterinary Guidelines for Professional Ultrasound Practice

8th Dec 2022

These guidelines have been over 3 years in the making. Having worked in Medical ultrasound for decades and then transferred across to veterinary, it came as a huge shock to us that there weren't any existing veterinary ultrasound practice standards documents to support non-Specialist Imagers (vets and non-veterinary trained ultrasound practitioners) wishing to undertake scans in primary care practice. 

Currently most primary care veterinary ultrasound users are alone when learning this incredibly versatile and operator-dependent practical skill, with none of the robust training and mentorship schemes we have in place for teaching diagnostic medical ultrasound in a safe and consistent manner. We really felt the need to better support those relying on clinical ultrasound to maximise small animal patient outcomes. 

Veterinary nurses are now diversifying their skill set by learning to use ultrasound in point of care scenarios, and some of these nurses have gone on to become ultrasound advocates for their practice. Whilst at this point in time, the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 does not allow anyone other than a veterinary clinician to diagnose, veterinary nurses and medical sonographers working within the profession can report on scans where a binary 'Yes' / 'No' answer is required, such as FAST scanning, or they can provide differential diagnoses for their ultrasound findings.

Great mentorship is always key to learning any new practical skill, but in the absence of this, our intention has always been to help as many vets and non-vet trained ultrasound users to be guided by this new document. empowering them to become safer and more consistent in their practice, even if working alone.

Read the full guidelines here

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