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German visit to ultrasound facilities. Katrin Paetzold, Dr Jens-Uwe Erk, Professor Julianne Eichorn and Gill Harrison
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Health Series: Announcements

German medical professionals visit City to learn more about ultrasound education

The visit provided an opportunity to learn about best practice and how ultrasound is taught within an academic setting in the UK

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Medical professionals from Germany came to City towards the end of the year to investigate how ultrasound is taught and practiced in the UK in order to help develop training for the profession in Germany.

Currently the German system is distinct from the UK as ultrasound is practiced by physicians. As a result, the visit provided an opportunity to learn about best practice and how ultrasound is taught within an academic setting in the UK. The aim is to further develop sonographer training in Germany with a rigorous academic component, as at City.

The visitors included Katrin Paetzold, nurse and ultrasound assistant, Dr Jens-Uwe Erk, chairman of the internal clinic at the Ev. Luth. Diakonissenkrankenhaus (hospital) in Dresden and course leader for the German Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM) and Professor Julianne Eichorn, Professor of Nursing Science and Clinical Nursing at the Technical University of Brandenburg (BTU).

As one of the most highly regarded ultrasound courses in the UK, City students benefit from the use of a clinical skills suite, including real-time ultrasound machines and simulators. In particular, students have excellent opportunities for clinical experience due to City’s close links with ultrasound departments in London hospitals.  

While at City, the visitors spent the morning in the ultrasound clinical skills suite at City where they discussed the training with the Ultrasound Programme Director, Gill Harrison and lecturer Annie Knowles. Having tried out the MedaPhor simulator which is used by students to train they also wanted to know more about how ultrasound practitioners worked within the NHS.

As a result, they also spent a day at the Royal London Hospital (RLH) in Whitechapel – a hospital with close links to City and part of the Barts Health NHS Trust - where they met many staff and students in a range of areas, including radiology, cardiology and vascular ultrasound departments. This enabled them to not only discover more about how the NHS (and particularly ultrasound) functions in the UK, but also ask questions and share their own experiences from Germany.

The following day they also visited sonographers in the ultrasound department at Whipps Cross hospital to explore the role of advanced practice sonographers within the workplace.  

Gill Harrison said:

“The visit was a great success as it enabled us to not only share experiences but also show our German colleagues  how ultrasound is taught and practiced in the UK. Currently the two systems are very different and I hope it was a useful experience for them and will be beneficial in shaping the future of ultrasound and sonographer education in Germany. The team are now working out how to go forward with plans to develop sonographer training in a very different health care setting to that of the UK, but are convinced that it needs to have a rigorous academic component.”

Read more about medical ultrasound at City

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.