SON5020 - Sonographic professional skills and sonography of the breast and thyroid - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Michal Schneider


Mr Paul Lombardo

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Online)
  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


SON4000, SON4010.


The initial component introduces key principles of medicolegal practice, medical ethics and professional communication. In the second part of the unit, the breast and thyroid are used as exemplars to relate these principles to the practice of medical ultrasound. Sonographic scanning methods and techniques for examinations of the breast and thyroid will be introduced, information gathering techniques and the elements of a clinical history will be discussed, interpretational skills in respect to the recognition of the sonographic appearances of normal anatomy, anatomical variants and disease processes affecting the breast and the thyroid will be developed.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. interpret, compare and explain the key principles of medical law, medical ethics and the control of infection;
  2. identify and describe potential medico-legal and ethical situations arising from sonographic practice and the communication of sonographic findings to patients, radiologists or sonologists and referring medical practitioners;
  3. apply information gathering techniques, summarize information and record a clinical history;
  4. perform routine sonographic examinations of the breast and thyroid safely and to a standard and ethical conduct expected of a competent sonographer;
  5. identify and describe normal and abnormal sonographic appearances of the breast and thyroid and related artefacts;
  6. recognise when modifications to routine scanning approaches are required and describe the limitations of ultrasound in regards to imaging the breast and thyroid.


Students must be actively engaged in supervised ultrasound clinical practice in the workplace for at least three days a week (or equivalent). It is the student's responsibility to secure a supervised ultrasound clinical placement in the workplace.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  • Compulsory attainment of a requisite number of ultrasound examinations (Hurdle)
  • Clinical skills assessment (10%)
  • Reflective journal (25%) consisting of Journal Part A Medico legal. 1500 words (15%), and Journal Part B Ethics. 1000 words (10%)
  • 2 x Clinical assignments (1,000 words (10%) each)
  • Written examination (1 hour) (30%)
  • Image recognition examination (30 min) (15%)

Requirement to obtain a pass: Students must obtain at least 50% of available marks overall and at least 50% of available marks in each of the written examination, and image recognition examination and clinical skills assessment. Hurdle requirements must be met.

Hurdle Requirement: Minimum clinical experience (as demonstrated by case numbers) is a requirement for professional course accreditation with the Australian Sonographers Accreditation Registry.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study