MEDS12004 - Sonographic Skills Development 1

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit prepares you for the clinical workplace through the development of skills in sonographic scanning techniques for the abdomen and transabdominal pelvis. You will be required to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours needed to work in a clinical setting, and will be assessed within a simulated environment. This unit prepares you for entry into the sonographic clinical environment using the Assessment of Readiness for Clinical tool (ARC) in conjunction with other assessment tasks.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


MEDS12003 Superficial Structures in Ultrasound


MEDS12002 - Abdominal Ultrasound


MEDS12001 Physics of Ultrasound


MEDS12006 Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology 

Condition: Continued enrolment in MEDS12004 is conditional upon passing any outstanding assessment pieces in MEDS12001 and MEDS12002 and MEDS12003.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 0%
2. Practical Assessment 0%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 0%
4. Written Assessment 0%
5. On-campus Activity 0%

This is a pass/fail (non-graded) unit. To pass the unit, you must pass all of the individual assessment tasks shown in the table above.

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 20.93% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 35.54% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit coordinators reflection and SUTE data
Some students felt that incorporating resources and demonstration videos with varying patient presentations to demonstrate additional techniques would be beneficial for learning and skill acquisition.
Review the lecture and demonstration videos and consider making adjustments to cover additional scanning manouvres and techniques that can be utilised throughout different patient scenarios in an abdominal ultrasound.
Action Taken
A wide range of video resources and materials were developed and provided on Moodle, encompassing various scanning techniques and typical challenges encountered in abdominal and pelvic scanning.
Source: SUTE data
Some students feel that the result of a pass or fail is dependent upon the patient that they have on assessment day.
Students will be informed of the importance of patient variability and learning to adapt their scanning to accommodate a range of anatomical differences between patients. Students whose anatomy is assessed as unsuitable for the level of study by the sonography team will be removed from the patient pool prior to the assessments.
Action Taken
Students were clearly informed on the importance of patient variability and learning to adapt their scanning to accommodate a range of anatomical differences between patients. This is an essential skill of sonographers that is required to be developed by students. The patient pool is carefully considered and a moderation approach is taken in deciding on the patient pool.
Source: SUTE data
Some students have expressed for more regular smaller assessments throughout the term that cover their progress throughout the term before the final skills assessment and contribute to the final skills assessment mark.
Consideration given to whether potential chunking of assessments could be implemented. Smaller assessments would still need to be passed along with the final skills assessment to pass the unit overall.
Action Taken
As this was the first delivery of the unit by this Unit Coordinator (UC), the provision of more regular smaller assessments throughout the term could not be considered for 2023.
Source: Students (informal consultations)
Students that were unsuccessful in this unit voiced their opinion that this was because there is a shortage of clinical placements rather than based on the merits of the student's assessment (this unit is a pre-requisite for the subsequent placement unit).
Provide more detailed information about the marking and moderation process of practical assessments to students at the start of term and reiterate that the available numbers or locations of placements have no bearing on this process. In fact, placement availability is fluid and may not even be known when the assessment marks for this unit are released.
Action Taken
The UC's background has been in running clinical units and sourcing placements for Melbourne students so any queries were accurately and efficiently answered. The Industry Partnership Manager attended a tutorial to provide insights and answer questions.
Source: SUTE data
Some students expressed that there were unclear unit requirements available.
Whilst the ARC tool and scanning protocol are already expansive, students could benefit from more layers to these resources outlining varying levels of diagnsotic versus non-diagnostic assessment. Consider developing a resource(s) outlining the unit requirements and with precise focus on the tipping point of when a non-critical error becomes a critical error.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE data and Informal Consultations
A lack of students volunteering as patients affected the creation and availability of demonstration videos on challenging patients.
The entire Melbourne cohort was invited to volunteer to be a patient for video resources with only a few volunteers. Education will be essential to ensure all students embrace being a demonstration patient ensuring diverse resources for the cohort. The addition of more videos on challenging patients will be considered.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE data
Some students felt that the pelvic module schedule could be adjusted to support better delivery during the term.
Consider reviewing the scheduling of the Pelvis module to an alternative timing and/or location while still adhering to industry standards and accreditation requirements.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Formulate strategies and implement skills necessary to complete sonographic examinations of the abdominal and pelvic organs.
  2. Recognise the normal sonographic appearances of abdominal and pelvic organs and identify anatomical variants when present, and discriminate from pathological processes.
  3. Critically reflect and improve upon own professional practice and sonographic psychomotor skills utilising constructive feedback.
  4. Display professional behaviour, teamwork, communication skills and criteria to meet safe sonographic practice and industry expectation.

Australasian Sonography Association Competency Standards for the Entry Level Sonographer

Units: 1,2,4,5,6 & 10

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
4 - Written Assessment
5 - On-campus Activity
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10