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3 Things You Didn't Know About Ultrasound

Ultrasound is an extremely versatile tool, a noninvasive way to quickly identify a number of issues, but it is often underused. Here are 3 things about ultrasound you may not have known before.

Do you find yourself using ultrasound every so often but feel like its potential is so much more? Boarded radiologist Nathan Nelson, DVM, MS, DACVR, agrees with you. In his conversation with Dr. Natalie Marks in the Quick Cup of Knowledge video “Ultrasound,” Dr. Nelson says that many veterinarians and veterinary technicians may not realize the variety of issues that can quickly and easily be diagnosed using ultrasound. It allows for a confident diagnosis without the need for an invasive surgery.

For Dr. Nelson, there are a few things that all veterinarians and veterinary technicians should know about using ultrasound:

1) Not Just the Abdomen

When thinking about investing in an ultrasound machine, many practitioners forget that it can be used to look at several parts of the body other than the abdomen. Dr. Nelson especially mentions the eye as being accessible and easy in finding the cause of issues like hyphema or eye trauma, whether it’s a retinal detachment or mass.

The neck is another area where ultrasound can give you quick and easy answers. If you feel a mass, ultrasound can tell you whether it’s connected to the thyroid or lymph node.

2) Many Levels of Use

Many think that whenever ultrasound is used, it must be used at the difficult full-scan level that a radiologist might do. Dr. Nelson debunks that conception and says that any veterinarian or veterinary technician may use ultrasound at a basic or intermediate level on a day-to-day basis after a few hours of training in a lab.

There are a variety of uses for ultrasound that range from very easy to more difficult. Some of the easier organs to locate like the urinary bladder and kidneys, in fact, are where you could find many common problems.

3) Utilize Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians becoming more familiar with ultrasound is an area of tremendous growth right now. There are veterinary technician specific labs held where participants are enthusiastic about becoming confident in developing their skills and realizing the potential they are bringing to their practices.

Veterinary technicians are able to scan, acquire, and document the appropriate images so the veterinarian can simply check those images, saving the veterinarian a lot of time and effort. Utilizing your team more in this way is empowering and is something veterinary technicians generally enjoy doing.

Now that you’re excited about ultrasound, take your skills to the next level at the Intermediate Abdominal Ultrasound course in November or Advanced Abdominal Ultrasound course in December. 

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Topics: Veterinary, WVC, 2019, CE, Quick Cup of Knowledge, Continuing Education, Veterinarian Technician, WVC Academy, Ultrasound, Dr. Nate Nelson

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