Ultrasound Curriculum

Ultrasound Program Course Descriptions

PHUS110: Physics of Ultrasound

This course investigates all aspects of the principles of ultrasound physics, instrumentation, image artefacts, quality assurance and Doppler. The basic content covered in this course is the foundation from which the students will build their image recognition and assessment skills. The basics of equipment function, set-up and manipulation will be taught using a variety of methods.

ABUS111: Ultrasound of Abdomen and Superficial Structures

The Ultrasound of the Abdomen and Superficial Structures course explores the normal ultrasound appearances of cross – sectional relational anatomy in the abdomen, superficial structures, venous legs, peripheral arterial system of the legs and arms, carotid vessels and musculoskeletal system using sonographic images. The course will review anatomy and physiology of the organs of the abdomen and superficial structures, vascular and musculoskeletal system. The utilization of laboratory data will be discussed for each of the specific organs. Using the appropriate terminology, the student will learn to critically assess the sonographic image in order to create a technical impression. By the completion of this course, the student will be able to critically assess the normal sonographic image or case study and differentiate between abnormal sonographic images. Using the correct sonographic terminology, the student will create a written technical impression of a case study.

APIG110: Cross-Sectional Anatomy

The ability to recognize anatomical structures as demonstrated on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) images is essential in all disciplines that utilize medical imaging. This Cross Sectional Anatomy course investigates the gross, cross-sectional and relational anatomy of the head, central nervous system, neck, spine, thorax, abdomen, male pelvis, female pelvis, upper & lower extremities as well as muscles, vessels and the lymphatic system. The study of cross sectional and relational anatomy is applied so that the learner will be able to recognize the different scanning planes (sagittal, axial & coronal) and be able to identify the organs, vessels or structures seen on MRI and CT images. The students will also learn the skill of describing anatomy in relation to surrounding structures and organs using medical terminology. This course offers weekly interactive lectures (1 hour) and self-directed anatomy lab tutorials (2 hours) which provide the student with a stimulating environment in which they may actively apply the knowledge learned through the use of a variety of media including anatomical models, preserved human specimens, cadaver cross sectional images as well as a multitude of hard copy and computer based medical images.

USUS112: Ultrasound Scanning I

Hands-on laboratory course that focuses on sonographic methodology: development of sonographic scanning techniques of the kidneys, liver, inferior vena cava (IVC), biliary system, and spleen, and the principles and application of patient care skills in a laboratory environment. In the tutorials, you will have the opportunity to discuss questions that arise from scanning in labs including image/video clip critique. You will be asked to come up with strategies and solutions to these questions and share them in class. This course promotes and encourages critical thinking and troubleshooting. You will have an opportunity to practice the various imaging protocols in a simulated laboratory setting. Proficiency in performing the procedures will be evaluated throughout the course.

PPUS110: Professional Practice I

This is the first of two courses dealing with patient care and professionalism. This course will introduce students to principles and application of patient care and professionalism. The student will practice patient care skills and interact with standardized patients. These activities complement activities in concurrent USUS112 Ultrasound Scanning 1 course. On the topic of professionalism, scope of practice, code of ethics, interprofessionalism, reflective practice, and team work, among others, will also be introduced.

ABUS121: Sonographic Pathology of the Abdomen Superficial

This Sonography based pathology course explores the abnormal Ultrasound appearances of multiple human body systems to include: abdominal organs /vessels, the musculoskeletal system, superficial structures, extra cranial vessels as well as upper and lower extremity peripheral venous system. The students will critically asses sonographic images to recognize normal versus abnormal ultrasound appearances. They will learn to correlate clinical history and lab data to the specific sonographic findings in order to create a technical impression and formulate a differential diagnosis using medical terminology. This abdominal pathology course offers weekly interactive lectures utilizing powerpoint, videos, hard copy and computer based medical images as well as small group learning activities which provide the student with a stimulating environment in which they can actively apply the knowledge learned through the use of a variety of media. This course builds on the knowledge acquired from the Ultrasound of the Abdomen 1 course (ABUS111) that was offered last semester.

OBUS121: Obstetrics and Gynecology

This course covers the anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system in both the gravid and non-gravid state, along with fetal development from implantation to birth. All of this information is used in distinguishing between normal and abnormal ultrasound appearances. The student will learn to critically assess the image to create the technical impression and the differential diagnosis that is provided to the physicians. They will do this by integrating the patients’ history with lab data, and the ultrasound appearances.

USUS123: Ultrasound Scanning II

Hands-on laboratory course that focuses on Sonographic methodology to build on what was covered in USUS112 and the development of sonographic scanning techniques of the aorta, pancreas, and female pelvis. Principles and application of patient care skills from PPUS110 and USUS112 will continue to be developed as well. In tutorials, you will have the opportunity to discuss questions that arise from scanning in labs including image/video clip critiques. You will be asked to share strategies and solutions to these questions. Critical thinking and troubleshooting will also be emphasized. You will have an opportunity to practice various imaging protocols in a simulated laboratory setting. Students will scan each other during labs. Proficiency in performing the procedures will be evaluated throughout the course.

SCUS131: Ultrasound Simulated Clinical

This course is designed to prepare the student for entry into the clinical environment. The emphasis of this course is for students to become more time efficient in scanning a complete abdomen and a gynecological examination. In addition, students will work on the development of sonographic scanning techniques of superficial structures and Doppler studies. Tutorial sessions will provide an opportunity to introduce weekly topics, discuss technical impressions related to patient cases, and to debrief completed laboratory activities. Laboratory sessions will provide an opportunity for students to practice scanning skills. Students will also be exposed to simulated patient scenarios in the scanning room which are common to Sonographers.

PPUS130: Professional Practice II

This course reinforces the patient care and professionalism skills from the PPUS110 and prepares the student for the clinical semester. Students will learn about infection control, infectious patients and patients who require oxygen therapy. During the tutorial, students will visit a simulated intensive care unit to examine the ancillary equipment that supports the patient. The students will learn to monitor and assess patient’s vital signs. The first step towards interprofessional practice is a solid foundation of your role, other professions and regulatory guidelines. The student will learn about the Regulated Health Professional and the limitations/differences between regulated and non-regulated health professionals. A simulated breast biopsy lab will be held with the Cytotechnology students to demonstrate interprofessional collaboration in a health care environment.

The course will focus on the principles and application of patient care skills that will complement the SCUS130 simulated clinical scanning course. The student will build on the history taking and patient care skills with challenging scenarios and interactions with standardized patients. The students will analyze relevant literature in order to learn the need for evidence based practice. The learner will research, analyze and discuss the Health Care Privacy Acts in Ontario in order to be better informed for clinical practice. Each student will be required to visit a clinical site to observe the patient interactions between the sonographer and the patient and to observe patient care techniques. Sonographers scan a variety of patients ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics. Guest speakers from The Hospital for Sick Children and Baycrest Hospital will provide helpful hints to obtaining optimal examinations. The course will provide an orientation and preparation for the clinical semester which begins in the fall.

RMUS250: Evidence Based Approach to Clinical Practice

This on-line course involves independent study in which the learner will become a more discriminating reader of medical literature, and ultimately better equipped to apply an evidence-based approach to clinical practice. The learner will become familiar with fundamental research principles to create a case report. The learner will analyze relevant literature in order to gather evidence that will validate and positively impact their clinical practice and provide the best patient care. An evidence-based approach to clinical decision making and practice will be emphasized to promote the collection, interpretation and integration of valid research-derived evidence with the application of the Health Information Protection Act and culminate in a case report on a sonographic topic of their choice.

CLUS130 and CLUS240: Clinical Practicum I and Clinical Practicum II

This clinical practicum is designed to offer the student the opportunity to apply the acquired didactic knowledge learned during the theoretical portion of the Ultrasound program. The student will successfully demonstrate and perform a variety of Ultrasound procedures. The ultrasound competencies are outlined in the Ultrasound Clinical Handbook. During the clinical semester, you will document ONLY the ultrasound examinations that you have completed in your ultrasound logbook. The clinical rotation may occur in a hospital ultrasound department or an Independent Health Facility clinic. During your clinical rotation, if you are not able to obtain all the competencies at your clinical site, arrangements will be made to obtain the competencies at another site. In some cases, the vascular competencies (Carotid and venous Doppler legs) may be completed and assessed at another site. Throughout the clinical semester, you will participate in the Ultrasound Clinical Blog at once per month to share your experiences with your classmates.

Each week, you must complete a weekly update to assess your weekly scanning progress. Reflect on your progress throughout the week and document on what worked well for the week and what did not work. You will need to write your strategies on how to improve for the next week. The weeks where Michener evaluations are performed, weekly updates are not completed. The Canadian Clinical Skills Assessment (CCSA) will be used to assess the clinical competencies as defined by the National Competency Profiles. During the 30 week clinical semester, you must successfully PASS all the Abdomen and Superficial Structures, Vascular, Obstetrics and Gynecology competencies as well at the CORE CCSA competencies.