General Principles and FAST Techniques

Subject VETS90040 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (12 x approx. 3 hours per week engaged in online tutorials, lectures and exercises)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


Dr Cathy Beck


School of Melbourne Custom Programs


Subject Overview:

To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in the Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound - Abdominal. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

This subject will focus on the importance of the correct use of the ultrasound machine controls and guide the candidate in learning how to control their own machine to create an optimal image.

The general principles of the ultrasound examination – this topic will include image formation and artefacts- how to recognise the artefacts and how to minimise those which impede image interpretation. There will be specific instruction on the “ultrasound report” and the importance of the description of findings and then the interpretation of these findings in light of the patients other clinical information.

FAST- focused assessment with sonology for triage: the use of ultrasound in the emergency situation. In this tutorial the principles of the AFAST (abdominal) and TFAST (thoracic) will be covered.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the subject, students should be able to;

  • Correctly set up and adjust the machine for optimal imaging of the abdomen of a dog or cat
  • Explain the origin, and possible correction or minimisation of ultrasound artefacts
  • Explain the features of a well written ultrasound report
  • Describe the technique for AFAST and TFAST (abdominal/ thoracic focused assessment with sonology for trauma, triage and monitoring)
  • Assess the thorax and abdomen for the presence of fluid and the thorax for pneumothorax
  • Interpret the sonographic findings of AFAST and TFAST examinations.
  • Self-assessment by multiple choice questions following each tutorial (10 MCQ takes 20 minutes for each of 10 tutorials - 200 minutes total) and prior to subject completion - 20%
  • Open-book multiple-choice examination of 50 questions which takes 100 minutes during the exam week - 50%
  • Interpretation of 25 case studies assessed by structured questions pertaining to each case (5 MCQ per case) spread throughout the semester. Total time is 250 minutes - 30%
Prescribed Texts:

Small Animal Diagnostic Ultrasound 3 rd Ed Nyland and Mattoon

Text and Atlas of Small Animal Ultrasonography 2 nd Ed Penninck and D’Anjou

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Successful candidate should develop skills in problem solving, analysis and written and verbal communication.

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound Abdominal

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