Animal Ultrasound Association (AUA) membership is currently open to people with measurable, verifiable training and experience. In the UK and USA, this currently means individuals who have completed training with Vet Image Solutions (VIS), and in Canada, with PetTech Solutions.
Why the AUA accredits VIS-trained individuals in the United Kingdom
A typical individual’s ultrasound training journey with VIS begins with a level 1 day course, led by a fully accredited sonographer. A sonographer is somebody who holds a masters degree or equivalent in diagnostic ultrasound, and an accredited sonographer is somebody who keeps their training and experience up to date in order to be listed with an internationally recognised professional body.
Yvette Lovis graduated from Portsmouth University in 1997 with a postgraduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound (following her degree in Radiography from Kingston University, awarded in 1992). Her specialism is obstetrics and gynaecology. She is fully accredited by the Health Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Radiographers.
Catherine Stowell graduated from Imperial College London in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Medical Ultrasound. Her specialism is in echocardiography. She is fully accredited by the British Society of Echocardiography.
After completion of level 1, trainees are encouraged to stay in touch with their trainers and other scanners via the Vet Image Solutions Facebook group. Here, they can share their images, receive feedback, as well as help and support fellow members.
It is strongly recommended that trainees have a minimum of 6 months’ scanning experience before attending level 2. Level 2 is designed as a refresher, a live forum for the exchange of ideas with other breeders, and an opportunity to have your burning questions answered in person.
Recommended training path:
In exceptional circumstances, an individual may choose to complete level 2 with less than 6 months’ experience. We advise against this unless you already have considerable ultrasound scanning experience, are a veterinarian or vet nurse.
Your continued education
Your journey doesn’t just stop after level 2. Support is always on hand through the Vet Image Solutions Facebook group, but after completing level 2 (and gaining sufficient scanning experience if you have not already), it’s a great time to join the Animal Ultrasound Association.
Full AUA membership in the UK is only open to those who have attained a high level of training and competency, which is why we currently only accept VIS-trained individuals (or PetTech for our Canadian clients, whose course is underwritten by us). The role of the AUA is to support its members in promoting safe, responsible scanning, as well as providing ongoing training opportunities.
Being part of a scanning community is important because:
- Ultrasound is an ever-changing technology. It’s important to remain up to date.
- Ultrasound is a consensus-based imaging modality. It’s vital to stay in contact with others in the same field, to share ideas and establish protocols, particularly in the animal world where normal values are poorly documented and can vary widely between species and even breeds.
- Scanning in isolation, never receiving any feedback, means that you have no benchmark. This is particularly important when it comes to performing measurements and calculations, where it is easy to get into bad habits or find that one’s method has no reproducibility.