MEDS12002 - Abdominal Ultrasound
Term 1 - 2017

All details in this unit profile for MEDS12002 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.


This unit explores the sonographic assessment of normal and pathological abdominal structures. Lectures and interactive tutorials, incorporating clinical narratives, are used to lay the foundations for you to analyse clinical scenarios. These scenarios are used to engage you in the sonographic decision-making process which culminates in the creation of a sonographers' interpretive report, including research into related sonographic pathologies.


Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


MEDS11001 Fundamentals of Sonographic Practice


Prerequisite MEDS11002 Relational Anatomy and Image Recognition OR MEDI11003 Relational Anatomy



MEDS12001 Physics of Ultrasound

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).


Term 1 - 2017
  • Brisbane
  • Mackay
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney


This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 40%
2. Examination 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

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.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Positive comments on unit structure and engagement were received. Self Reflection: MEDS12002 Abdominal Ultrasound is a positively evolving subject in the Medical Ultrasound undergraduate course that I feel, will evolve further with future deliveries. Course coordinated tutorial sessions MUST be continued, to allow the student / course coordinator interaction to occur. Minor adjustments of assessment structure and guidelines will be made available to the 2017 student body. Incorporation of anatomical software - Draw-it-to-Know-it, must be made available to the Abdominal Ultrasound student body, to allow for appropriate revision of prerequisite anatomical concepts.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Describe anatomical structures on sonographic images of the abdomen.
  2. Differentiate the clinical appearance, sonographic appearance and aetiology of abdominal pathological processes.
  3. Classify laboratory data relevant to the abdomen.
  4. Analyse clinical scenarios to provide a differential diagnosis and produce a sonographic report.

The learning outcomes for this unit relate to the requirements of the Australian Sonographers Association Competency Standards for the Entry Level Sonographer.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Examination

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
1 - Written Assessment        
2 - Examination          

Prescribed Textbooks

Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen and Superficial Structures
Author/s: Diane Kawamura & Bridgette Lunsford Year: 2012
Edition: 3rd Publisher: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
City: Philadelphia State: PA
Country: USA
Sonography Exam Review: Physics, Abdomen, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Author/s: Susanna Ovel Year: 2014
Edition: 2nd Edition Publisher: Elsevier
City: Sacramento State: California
Country: United States
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

"Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen & Superficial Structures," will be used as the prescribed text for two courses this term - MEDS12002 Abdominal Ultrasound and MEDS12003 Superficial Structures in Ultrasound.

This book comes packaged with the workbook at a reduced cost to students.

"Sonography Exam Review," includes a mobile app with interactive flash cards, mobile app for quick quizzes, timed mock exams and two interactive sonographical interactive memory games.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Zoom Collaborate
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorSharon Meng (
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017


  • Chapter 7: p 207-221 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 9: p 123-135 Sonography Exam Review
Week 2 13-03-2017

Abdominal Vascular Structures

  • Chapter 4: p 57-77, 86-96 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 13: p 184-198 Sonography Exam Review
Week 3 20-03-2017

Gallbladder &

Biliary System

  • Chapter 6: p 165-203 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 8: p 105-122 Sonography Exam Review
  • Zoom Collaborate Session: Monday 10.30am (AEST)
  • Basic Worksheet Completion & Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Case Study

Week 4 27-03-2017


  • Chapter 5: p 101-162 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 7: p 86-104 Sonography Exam Review
Week 5 03-04-2017

Abdominal Wall & Diaphragm

Peritoneal Cavity

  • Chapter 2: p 13-37 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 3: p 39-55 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 15: p 218-221 Sonography Exam Review
  • Chapter 18: p 259-264 Sonography Exam Reiview
  • Zoom Collaborate Session: Monday 10.30am (AEST)
  • Basic Worksheet Completion & Liver Case Study
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017


  • Chapter 10: p 265-337 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 10: p 136-146 Sonography Exam Review
  • (Omitting vascular disorders of the kidneys)

Written Assessment Due Tuesday (18 Apr 17) 10:00 AM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Lower Urinary System

  • Chapter 11: p 341-365 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 10: p 148-149 Sonography Exam Review
  • Zoom Collaborate Session: Monday 10.30am (AEST)
  • Basic Worksheet Completion & Renal Case Study
Week 8 01-05-2017


  • Chapter 12: p 367-387 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 16: p 229-238 Sonography Exam Review (Prostatic components only)
Week 9 08-05-2017

Adrenal Glands

  • Chapter 13: p 389-416 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 12: p 170-175 Sonography Exam Review
Week 10 15-05-2017


  • Chapter 8: p 225-241 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 11: p 158-169 Sonography Exam Review

Week 11 22-05-2017

Gastrointestinal Tract

  • Chapter 9: p 243-262 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 14: p 199-211 Sonography Exam Review
  • Zoom Collaborate Session: Monday 10.30am (AEST)
  • Mock Examination (Revision)
Week 12 29-05-2017


  • Chapter 14: p 419-433 Abdomen & Superficial Structures
  • Chapter 12: p 170 & 175-183 Sonography Exam Review

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017

Revision/Exam Week

  • Abdomen Mock Exam:
  • Sonography Exam Review p 271 - 294
Exam Week 12-06-2017

Exam Week

  • End of Term Summative Examination (60%)
  • Note: A pass of 50% MUST be achieved in this examination to pass this course

On-line Zoom Collaborate Tutorials

On-line zoom collaborate tutorials will be conducted (see Moodle schedule for times and dates) throughout the term to facilitate worksheet completion and case study scenarios which will in-turn, consolidate unit teachings. All tutorial concepts will be considered as end of term examinable material. Zoom will be the software of choice for tutorial delivery, please ensure that you are proficient in the use of the technologies required to access these tutorials and that your computer has the appropriate capabilities.

Unit Work

This is a 6 credit point subject which acts as a prerequisite for MEDS12004 Sonographic Skills Development 1 which will be taken in term two (2) of this teaching year. Teachings of, "Abdominal Ultrasound," will be heavily revisited and your knowledge relied upon, in your laboratory abdominal scanning curriculum. I encourage you to study the unit profile carefully and contribute to the on-line discussion forums, to initiate a rapport with fellow students. It is recommended that a commitment of 12.5 hours of study be conducted per week, making a total of 150 hours upon course completion.

This is a purely theoretical subject which bears a heavy theoretical workload, please ensure you are consistent with study commitments.

2016 saw the successful implementation of a new textbook, "Sonography Exam Review," which provides you with full study summaries of all anatomical, pathological and scanning concepts. One of the most valuable features of this review resource is the inclusion of the accompanying mock exams and student Evolve Website. The electronic rationales provide immediate feedback and questions which can be bookmarked for later reference. Also contained on the Evolve Website, students can find two entertaining review games, "Sonography Millionaire," and "Tournament of Sonography," which makes studying not only more interactive but a lot more enjoyable. Please also familiarise yourself with the electronic resources and accompanying workbook for the set text, "Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Abdomen & Superficial Structures." Resources for students include: weblinks, glossary with pronunciations, answers to book questions, quiz bank tests and video clips.

This year the assessment item has been simplified to a single task: A pathological brochure, to provide a more directive and less wordy style of assessment task. 2016 saw major unit improvements performed to increase overall student satisfaction. 2014 saw the Sonographic Review Team eliminate examinable online quizzes to allow students more time to concentrate on their end of term examination. Quizzes are still provided on-line for revisionary purposes only. Central Queensland University also discourages the use of (MCQ's) Multiple Choice Questions on end of term examinations, so this style of assessment has been replaced.

I look forward to the privilege of delivering our unit topic, as you advance towards your sonographic qualification.

Kind Regards

Sharon Meng

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment
Task Description

Context: Part of a Sonographer's day to day activities, is to provide an accurate and clear explanation of their sonographical findings. It is an important skill for a health professional to be able to provide clinical findings in a brief and concise manner. One of the best ways to provide easy to read information about pathologies to patients is through the use of a brochure.

Task: Your assessment task is to create a (tri-fold, 6 panel digital only) brochure of an abdominal pathology, as listed below, which can be sourced from your course content, weeks 1–4:

  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pseudocyst
  • Islet Cell Tumour
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
  • Dissecting Aneurysm
  • Thrombosis of the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC)
  • Mycotic aneurysm
  • Acute Cholecystitis
  • Adenomyomatosis
  • Mirizzi Syndrome
  • Gallbladder Carcinoma
  • Gangrenous Cholecystitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Fatty Infiltration
  • Hepatitis
  • Budd-Chiari Syndrome
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
  • Schistosomiasis
You are required to select only ‘one’ topic to form the basis of your assessment task. The brochure is to be written for a patient audience and must emphasis the use of sonography in the diagnostic process.

The brochure is to be used as an educational tool to inform the general public about a particular disease process and to raise awareness of the use of ultrasound to assist in diagnosis. A template and exemplar will be provided with details of the information to be included in your brochure. The brochure will be completed in electronic/digital format and submitted via the unit Moodle site.

This assessment will assist you to develop the skills to describe aetiology of diseases and diagnostic processes to your future patients, using terminology that is easy to understand. This task will give you the opportunity to develop skills in prioritizing information for inclusion and the use of clear concise writing without technical jargon. Creating this brochure will involve researching relevant information and being creative in design so that the information is engaging to the reader.

Word Length: There is no word length, however must be presented in a readable font size for a brochure intended for patients.

Assessment Due Date Week 6 Tuesday (18-Apr-2017) 10:00 AM AEST
Submission is required via CQU Moodle site upload
Return Date to Students Week 8 Tuesday (02-May-2017)
Written assessment will be returned within 2 weeks of the due date as per CQU protocol
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

Assessment criteria for the abdominal pathological brochure includes:

  • Evidence based information
  • Grammar & punctuation
  • Readability
  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Image inclusions
  • Referencing

You MUST achieve a minimum grading of 50% in this assessment to pass this course.

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - Minimum grade required 50%
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Submission via online moodle upload, brochure to be 6 panel, trifold style only

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe anatomical structures on sonographic images of the abdomen.

2. Differentiate the clinical appearance, sonographic appearance and aetiology of abdominal pathological processes.

3. Classify laboratory data relevant to the abdomen.

4. Analyse clinical scenarios to provide a differential diagnosis and produce a sonographic report.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy


Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 60%
Condition Minimum percentage of examination marks required to pass course - 50%
Length 120 minutes
Details Dictionary - non-electronic, concise, direct translation only (dictionary must not contain any notes or comments).
No Calculators Permitted
Closed Book
Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe anatomical structures on sonographic images of the abdomen.

2. Differentiate the clinical appearance, sonographic appearance and aetiology of abdominal pathological processes.

3. Classify laboratory data relevant to the abdomen.

4. Analyse clinical scenarios to provide a differential diagnosis and produce a sonographic report.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

4. Information Literacy


  • The Medical Sonography Course teaches cognitive, technical and creative skills that will ensure you can engage with the workplace and wider community.

Graduate Attributes

  • Graduate Attributes that will be obtained in the successful completion of abdominal ultrasound course work, include communication, problem solving, information literacy and critical thinking.
  • Competency of these elements will ensure progress to a creditable health professional.

Indigenisation of Curriculum

  • Consideration is given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspects of disease aetiology and culturally competent patient care.
  • First Nations People pedagogies are incorporated in the use of lectures by experts in the field, industry relevant content is utilized to create a realistic clinical context.
  • Course and research materials are reviewed for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural sensitivity.

Internationalisation of Curriculum

  • Course materials, readings and tutorials include internationally faceted counsel.
  • Assessment tasks have been created to encourage students to search for internationally appropriate resources that will reflect cultural uniqueness.
  • International concepts are incorporated into student's daily studies of disease aetiology and pathological process.
  • Student teachings are appropriately aligned with future international working life.


  • Consideration is given to course lectures, readings and teachings that do not have negative consequences for future generations.
  • Quality teaching materials are delivered to ensure advancements in health and medical sonography occur and are written to further encourage sustainable ethical research.

Work Related Learning

  • Program knowledge, theoretical research skills and professional competence is learnt, to improve the delivery of future patient related care.
  • The memorisation of key anatomical, pathological and sonographical techniques will assist the student in their theoretical awareness and will facilitate future work related learning outcomes.
  • Sonography and research skills are learnt to improve patient related healthcare.

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