Anisotropy

Anisotropy is a common artifact seen in musculoskeletal ultrasound that occurs when the ultrasound beam encounters a structure at a non-perpendicular angle.  The artifact results with a loss of echogenicity in structure.  We see anisotropy more commonly in tendons and ligaments, but it also occurs in muscle and nerves to a lesser extent.

To learn more about anisotropy, and how to identify it during your evaluations, check out upcoming educational seminars that will provide hours of hands-on scanning.

Ultrasound Registry Preparation Frustration?
Help is on the way!

Preparing for the ARDMS, CCI, or ASRT ultrasound certification examination can be quite intimidating.  Coordinating work, family, and personal activities around study time can be an overwhelming experience that leads to procrastination and last minute scrambling.

The 12-Step Plan to Registry Examination Success!

Proper Ultrasound Registry exam Prep will help you succeed

  1. Adequate preparation requires a minimum of 3 months study time (6 months ideal) and is essential to your stress-free success.
  2. Review other personal and work commitments to schedule an exam date that will allow sufficient time to effectively prepare.
  3. Review the ARDMS, CCI, or ASRT ultrasound examination outlines and divide your study time according to the number of segments and percentage weights assigned to each category.
  4. Assign study sections in 1-2 hour increments each day that corresponds with a study completion date approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the exam date.
  5. Schedule your study time when it will not interfere with other important commitments (before work, after work, after kids are in bed etc).
  6. Purchase study materials designed to prepare you for the exam.  Consider attending an ultrasound registry review to identify areas of weakness to more effectively coordinate your study plan of action.
  7. Quiz yourself after each section.  Further study will be required for identified areas of weakness.
  8. 21-30 days prior to the exam date, participate in a mock examination in a timed setting to assess ability to answer questions in an appropriate length of time and undergo a final assessment of areas that require further study.
  9. Complete final review and/or attend a registry review workshop.
  10. Upon completion of the scheduled and structured study time…relax. Do Not review any material within 1 week of the exam.  This will only create more anxiety.
  11. Do not drink alcohol the day before the exam and go to bed at a reasonable hour to ensure a restful night sleep.
  12. Go into the exam confident that you have completed a structured study plan and you are prepared to take and pass the exam!

Advanced planning will ensure your registry success in a stress-free manner.

Resources for Study Success:

Ultrasound Lab Accreditation 101

By: Trisha Reo, RVT, RDMS

Achieving and maintaining accreditation status

Accredited Lab for SonographyAs the Technical Director of Vascular Ultrasound Services at my facility, I have personally experienced the tedious processes of achieving and maintaining accreditation status. Achieving vascular lab accreditation status in ultrasound requires compliance with requirements regarding ultrasound image quality and consistency, exam protocols, quality assurance and continuing medical education. In my professional opinion, ultrasound lab accreditation is a necessary evil that ensures quality diagnostic care and improves patient outcomes. Professional societies, such as the SDMS, agree that accreditation is a staple of a quality diagnostic ultrasound lab (here is the link to an excellent article on accreditation). Although this process can be overwhelming if you are new to it, the ultrasound resources you need to be successful are readily available to you. Read on for some hints and helpful suggestions to get you better prepared.

Five Steps to a Successful Accreditation Application:

  1. Download or request a copy of the application requirements (visit AIUM, ACR, or Intersocietal ). This is your road map. Review it, learn it, know it, and follow it! If you do each step in this application, you are on the road to success!
  2. Download and implement the suggested professional ultrasound exam guidelines from the website of the organization you are applying for accreditation with. If you have any trouble locating these guidelines, call the organization and ask for assistance in obtaining these. And remember, these are suggested ultrasound protocols! You do not have to follow them verbatim but your protocol should at least include the listed ultrasound images.
  3. Designate a physician to be your lab’s Medical Director and involve them. It is important to seek and consider their professional opinion throughout this process!
  4. Communicate the ultrasound guidelines, CME requirements and expectations during this process to your technical staff. This will alleviate any confusion they may have about the changes the department is making. Have multiple CME resources available to them to encourage compliance. Visit Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute for access to multiple online and textbook CME resources.
  5. Submit an application that reflects only your best work and be sure it is organized. Remember, the application you submit will represent your facility and department, so make sure your application highlights your labs strengths and abilities!

Performing a Venous Imaging scanFollow the above steps and you are on your way to achieving ultrasound lab accreditation! There is nothing easy about this process but, it is well worth the hard work you will put into it.

Don’t be afraid to call or email the organization you are seeking accreditation from if you have any questions or find yourself lost during the process. They are there to help you in any way they can.

Good luck and happy scanning!