New online course on Obstetric Ultrasound will help nurture safer motherhood and best possible start to life.
Stillbirth, it is a tragedy that still affects 3 million families every year. Experts such as Prof. Susan Walker have dedicated her life to studying late pregnancies with serious problems to reduce the number of preventable stillbirths. Many of the problems and clinical questions encountered in routine antenatal care can be quickly solved or easily answered with a bedside ultrasound scan.
Prof. Susan Walker is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, currently the Director of Perinatal Medicine, Mercy Hospital, Head of Department – Obstetrics and Gynecology, the University of Melbourne, a teacher at La Trobe University and the University of Papua New Guinea.
Susan is currently collaborating with the University of Melbourne – Mobile Learning Unit to create an online Obstetric Ultrasound course that has been designed to assist practitioners master the right skills to carry out late term pregnancy ultrasound.
“The ultrasound is obviously becoming the stethoscope of the 21st century and everybody could benefit from knowing how to do the basics of late pregnancy ultrasound, which is what this course is about.” Explained Prof. Walker.
The course will contain important tutorials which discusses the theory of ultrasound and how it works. Prof. Walker insists that mastering the ultrasound machine is a real skill as it allows people to make the most out of the machine and produce optimised images. Another important tutorial covers the way the baby is coming out. Babies can have a difficult and dangerous labour if they are bottom first or breech presentation, and doctors or midwives don’t know about it. There is also a module which discusses the assessments of fluid around the baby. This gives a good idea of how well the placenta is working, particularly towards the very end of pregnancy. Another module focuses on healthy fetal behaviours in late pregnancies, so that we know that the baby is moving well, and that they are practicing breathing movements well. Finally, there is also the Doppler Assessment module, which focuses on the assessments of blood vessel patterns in the umbilical artery and in the middle cerebral brain artery.
This course is derived from traditional face-to-face lectures and hands-on training; however, this approach has limitations and is not always accessible and efficient for busy practitioners. The online format will allow more practitioners access to this valuable knowledge. The ultrasound course has been designed for all maternity care providers, trainees, midwives, GPs, emergency physicians, or obstetricians.
When asked why she is developing this course, Prof. Susan Walker gave a beautiful answer.
I think families and clinicians all want the same thing. We want safer motherhood and the best possible start to life. - said Prof. Walker
This course is developed as a joint initiative between the University of Melbourne – Mobile Learning Unit and Mercy Perinatal Hospital for Women, and it will help maternity care providers in all settings to have a better understanding of what can be done for late pregnancy assessments.
Participants who successfully complete this course will be eligible to receive CPD points from RACGP, RANZCOG or the ACM. It is expected to be due for release in the next coming months, and those who are interested are able to find out more information by visiting the course website