Rationale: This proposal maintains that applicants into a PgC MSK US course must have appropriate clinical MSK or ultrasound experience, but recognises that the level/quality of experience is not directly related to time (ie. some professionals could be clinically skilled/experienced in MSK or ultrasound practice <12 months and others may have >12 months of experience without appropriate knowledge/skills. This is a similar argument for a student competent in US after 10 scans vs a student not yet competent in US following 100 scans). This proposal also maintains the need for students undertaking MSK US courses to be health professionals aligned with an appropriate professional body (inclusive of AHPs, medical professionals). MSK is not currently an option for direct entry US courses, at undergraduate level.
Rationale: This proposal emphasises the need for students on MSK US courses to complete and maintain a portfolio/evidence log to:
• agree a learning contract between student, mentor and awarding institution, about a clearly defined individual breadth/remit of MSK US practice, for use in practice when training & post qualification (where the portfolio is presented to mentors and employers)
• evidence appropriate scanning experience & learning, aligned to this full breadth/remit of practice (inclusive of documented scans (quality appraised by mentor), scan hours ± reflective practice/case reports)
• evidence the student’s clinical competency to scan out in practice following completion of the course, where the portfolio must include evidence of successfully completed clinical competency assessments. These assessments must include unseen patient exams, where student competency is assessed and signed off across the full breadth/remit of their defined US practice.
Rationale: On discussion, we learned that it is not usually possible for HEI’s to specify different MSK anatomical areas/regions on exit awards for individual students. Therefore, this proposal highlights the need for the health professional qualified in MSK US to present to their employer: 1) evidence of their exit award and 2) their portfolio of practice, with evidence of the breadth/remit of US practice they can competently scan within. CASE recognise that this proposal requires more employer education/support about the need for MSK US professionals to produce this evidence. As a mechanism towards preceptorship, this will ensure patient/sonographer safety through appropriate referrals and scan lists. This portfolio can also be used in evidence of practice for professional bodies and regulators.
Rationale: This proposal is intended to define an appropriate MSK US mentor for the trainee student. This ensures that the mentor has a breadth/remit of practice aligned to that of the student, with appropriate experience, qualifications and clinical competency. This proposal also aligns to the existing CASE proposal statement related to independent scanning. In relation to this statement, please see following principles:
• Mentor supervision of independent student scans/decision making, until the final (or interim) award is ratified by the university examination board, is a cornerstone of US practice (applicable to all remits of US and not exclusive to MSK)
• These scans must include scanning of a range of MSK pathologies aligned to the student’s breadth/scope of practice, as defined/agreed in the learning contract
• Whilst students may undertake scans with healthy volunteers in simulation based training (fundamental to learning of healthy sono-anatomy), these should not be included in the scan log/numbers of the portfolio. The portfolio should be reflective of patient cases only.
Rationale: This proposal maintains the need for students to successfully complete a physics module, with learning and assessment at an appropriate level. The level is not named here, as could differ between levels 6 or 7 (or equivalent levels outside of England) depending on whether the MSK course is at a focused or postgraduate level (direct entry at undergraduate level not yet possible for MSK US). This proposal also acknowledges that all physics learning and assessment must be appropriate to the learner’s breadth/remit of MSK US practice.
The full extract from the Annual Report including the introduction to the MSK work can be found in the document available to download below: