Clinical Assessment

Whenever an ultrasound scan is considered by an EP, he or she needs to be satisfied that it is indicated and that he or she has the necessary competence to carry it out. Before scanning any patient, ask the following questions:

  1. Have I been trained and signed off in conducting and interpreting this technique?
  2. Will the scan add to my understanding of my patient’s condition?
  3. Will the result influence management?

If the answer to all three of these questions is 'yes', a scan is appropriate.

Be aware that those not familiar with the approach will innocently request scans that are inappropriate. For example: ‘Just take a look and see if there is any intra-abdominal pathology’ or ‘Please see if a stone is present ‘. 

EPs should make sure that the ultrasound scan is appropriate and that they have the competence to carry it out.