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First hands-on clinical ultrasound course

New Zealand’s first clinical on-campus ultrasound course finished its first year at the University of Auckland recently.

Ultrasound education is traditionally delivered online with students learning the clinical scanning techniques at their work place.

The Principles of Clinical Ultrasound, is the first practical ultrasound course for sonography students in New Zealand with the first 12 weeks of sonography training delivered at the University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences campus at Grafton.

“Students learn the fundamentals of ultrasound in a structured and safe environment and have access to the state of the art ultrasound and simulation equipment including the use of human volunteers,” says Medical Imaging Programme director, Associate Professor Jenny Sim.

“The University of Auckland is the only university in New Zealand now offering Medical Imaging education at the postgraduate level,” she says. “We will have our first batch of post-graduate Diploma of Health Science MRI and Ultrasound graduates in December this year.”

There were many stakeholders that had supported and helped enable the delivery of this first CLINIMAG 709 course she says.

Health Workforce New Zealand provided funding for the lead sonographer and tutor sonographers for this course with other academic staff coming from the University of Auckland.

The Northern Regional Alliance provided liaison between HWNZ and the University of Auckland and despite the severe sonographer shortage, all of the Auckland region district health board’s released key ultrasound staff members to provide the sonography staffing.

“With their support our faculty is able to provide the New Zealand workforce with much needed high quality sonographers who meet international standards,” says Dr Sim. “The course is only possible with the collaboration and persistent hard work of all parties, especially within such a short time frame.”

The University will continue to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure delivery of high quality sonography education in NZ.