MEDS13008 - Vascular Sonography
Term 1 - 2017

All details in this unit profile for MEDS13008 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 will introduce you to vascular ultrasound. In this unit you will explore the sonographic assessment of normal and pathological vascular cases. You will apply knowledge of vascular anatomy and physiology, and the physical properties of Doppler ultrasound to clinical scenarios and case studies to critically reflect on sonographic problems. Engaging in this sonographic decision-making process will culminate in the creation of sonographer’s interpretive reports, including a provisional diagnosis.


Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisites:- 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. Group Work 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
The prescribed text book was generally thought to be a good resource. Some students felt it was somewhat limited in its explanation and content in some areas but then was very clear and comprehensive in others. Moodle comments and CC assessment Course Coordinator is working on production of a Customised Solutions Textbook in cooperation with the Elsevier company. This project hopes to create a textbook with certain chapters from different Elsevier publications so the student will have access to chapters that best focus on the specified topic. For example: I plan to use two chapters - The physics of Doppler Ultrasound and Doppler artifacts from Kremkau a dedicated Ultrasound physics textbook, two Chapters from Thrush and Hartshorne on "Factors that influence the Doppler Spectrum" and "Optimising the scan" and then from the current textbook Clinical Doppler Ultrasound inclusion of only the chapters on the required, relevant vascular studies such as Carotids, DVT, Abdominal aorta, Renal Arteries and peripheral arteries. One example of the textbook's limited content is in chapter 5 The Peripheral Veins on page 112 where "other causes of leg swelling ,pain or tenderness" is addressed in one paragraph and two sonograms and the CC knows from 30 years clinical experience that there are many more alternate pathologies encountered that the student needs to be aware of and be able to recognise.
A large number of students thought that the the group assignment was one of the best parts of the course as they felt that process was helpful to their study and the assessment improved teamwork skills. "Have your say" Moodle and telephone calls As positive teamwork and clear concise communication are both important components of being successful in the profession medical world this assessment item will be maintained in the course. Instructions given to the students will be stream-lined and simplified and explicit.
The tutorials received a fifty-fifty of positive-negative student feedback. A large number of students felt they were a very positive interactive learning tool that helped them grasp a lot of difficult concepts. BUT there were lots of IT issues during tutorial times. For example in a number of these sessions the first 15-20 minutes were taken up with the tutor actually trying just to get onto the collaborate session. Course Coordinators own experiences and Moodle comments A very similar format of Collaborates will be run to maintain the very positive student reception but they will adhere more closely to the set time frame. The CC now has a new computer. The original desktop was greater than 10 years old and not always capable of handling some of the newer technologies. Also the Collaborate platform will be the latest updated version to be used next offering of the course.
Visual learning of unit content Moodle Sonography is essentially a profession that heavily relies on real-time visual recognition of a normal vs abnormal scenario, I feel it is important to provide a list of visual learning resources for the students. These will be streamlined in number and duration for the next unit offering.
A number of negative comments were made regarding the navigation through the Moodle page and disorganization of related files. "Have your say" Responses on Moodle Complete tidy up of Moodle page with FOLDERS to be used for all related files. To limit the material available on the home page there will be removal of some of the weekly labels such as "Extension Resources" and limit the available quizzes to just one per week.
Some students felt the lectures could have been presented with better organisation or a little more systematically, but they did not mention if it was the individual lectures or the order in which the vascular topics were taught. Moodle This unit requires me to cover the theory of the Deep Vein Thrombosis in extremities in the fisrt 3 weeks and then Cerebrovascula study of the Carotids in weeks 4 & 5. This is to align with the concurrent SSD2 scanning skills unit where theory is learnt prior to applying hands-on scanning practice. Organisation of the individual lectures mostly followed the pattern of an initial presentation of a typical request form, alongside a typical sonographer worksheet to be completed at the end of the US exam. They then proceeded in steps that covered Introduction of the topic, Objectives, Anatomy , Clinical indications - Areas to be examined - Sonographic techniques utilised - Typical Spectral waveforms encountered in both normal and abnormal cases - Sonographic characteristics pathologies involved.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Apply knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathological processes of the vascular system to sonographic examinations and sonographic image appearances.
  2. Describe sonographic techniques and protocols appropriate to vascular ultrasound.
  3. Analyse normal, anomalous and abnormal flow haemodynamics and laboratory findings.
  4. Demonstrate professional collaboration with your peers.
  5. 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 Sonographer's Association (ASA) Competency Standards for the Entry Level Sonographer, unit 1-5, 13,

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Group Work    
2 - Examination  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
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 - Group Work      
2 - Examination          

Prescribed Textbooks

Clinical Doppler Ultrasound
Author/s: Pozniak, M & Allan, P Year: 2014
Edition: 3rd edn Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
City: London
Country: UK
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

Included in the purchase of the hard copy of this textbook is on-line access to the same text as an e-book ISBN: 97807055379.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
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 CoordinatorMaria Maroney (
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

Haemodynamics and Doppler Physics Review

Ch. 1_Physics: Principles, Practice and Artefacts P 1-25

CH 2_ Haemodynamics and Blood Flow p26-38

Week 2 13-03-2017

DVT- Routine study of leg veins

CH 5_The Peripheral Veins PP 94-113

Formation of teams for group-work assessment item.

Week 3 20-03-2017

DVT continued- Abnormalities encountered in DVT studies

CH 5_The Peripheral Veins PP 102-103 and On-line resources

Finalisation of teams for group-work assessment item

Week 4 27-03-2017

Routine Carotid and Vertebral Artery Studies

Ch 3_The Carotid and Vertebral Arteries PP 39-50

Week 5 03-04-2017

Abnormal Extra-cranial Cerebrovascular studies

Ch 3_The Carotid and Vertebral Arteries PP 50-66

Practice half yearly examination on DVT and Carotid US studies

Submission of draft of oral presentation for Group work due week 5.

Vacation Week 10-04-2017

Week 6 17-04-2017

Lower and Upper Extremity Arterial Doppler examination

CH 4_The Peripheral Arteries PP 71-93

Week 7 24-04-2017

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) - EVAR

CH 6_The Aorta and Inferior Vena Cava PP 122-130 and On- line resources

Week 8 01-05-2017

Renal Arteries- Direct and Indirect Assessment

CH 9_ The Kidneys Renal Vascular Doppler PP 193-213

Final productions of recorded group oral presentation due week 8.

Week 9 08-05-2017

Renal Transplant assessment-

Doppler of Haemodialysis Access Grafts

CH 10_ Solid Organ Transplant (renal transplantation) PP 214-232

CH 7_ Haemodialysis Access (Arteriovenous Fistulas and Synthetic Grafts) PP 35- 147

Distribution of two other oral presentations to each student for individual critique.

Week 10 15-05-2017

Hepato-Portal Assessment_

Abdominal Venous Doppler

CH 8_ The Liver (executing the Liver Doppler Study) PP 148-178 PP 183-191

CH 6_ The inferior Vena Cava PP 130-133

Completion of Self and Peer Assessment (SPA)

Week 11 22-05-2017

Doppler assessment of

Chronic Venous Valvular Insufficiency (CVVI)

CH 5_The Peripheral Veins

(Recurrent Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency) PP 114-121

Final submission of critiques of both alternate recorded oral presentations due week 11.

Group Work Due Friday (26 May 17) 04:00 PM AEST
Week 12 29-05-2017

Revision and Final Examination Preparation

Mock Exam and exam review

Distribution of links to all recorded oral presentations for unit review and exam preparation.

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

Unit coordinator is Maria Maroney. Contact details: email: or phone:07 49232522

The best way to contact Maria initially is by email at .

Access to the Internet is required to undertake this unit, as unit materials, tutorials and updates will be provided via Moodle, email and ZOOM.

1 Group Work

Assessment Title Group Work
Task Description

MEDS13008 Vascular Sonography 2017 Term 1

Assessment Item 1 Group work - Oral Presentation

There are three parts to this assessment Item.

· Part A: Each group will produce a 10 to 15 min recorded oral presentation.

· Part B: Your peers will assess your individual contribution to the Group Presentation.

· Part C: You will critique two other Group Presentations.

Your Task

The unit coordinator will assign you to a group for this assessment task. Group members will be from the same campus.


As a group, choose one (1) topic from the list below:

1. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) of the arteries of the lower limbs

2. Initial diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

3. Post Endovascular Aortic Repair (EVAR) evaluation

4. Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD) in renal arteries

5. Atherosclerosis (AS) in carotids

6. Subclavian Steal Syndrome (SSS) in carotids and vertebral arteries

7. Portal Vein (PV) hypertension

8. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limb

Prepare and record an oral presentation (10 to 15 minutes) using Power Point for submission in Week 8. Information on best practise group work and good presentation style will be available on the Moodle site.

In Week 5, you are required to submit a draft of your work for feedback from the unit coordinator.

Your coordinator will assign your marks for this presentation. Group marks will be determined by the content and quality of the oral presentation submitted. All team members will receive the same marks for this component.


Other group members will assess your contribution to the group presentation by answering 10 standard questions. You will receive a link to these questions via email in Week 10. You will be awarded the average of these marks.


Each student will be assigned two other group presentations to critique. You will write a 300-350 words critique, in which you will comment on the content of presentation and the accuracy, quality and detail of the sonograms. The coordinator will assess your critiques.

More details about all aspects of this assessment are available on the Moodle site.

Assessment Due Date Week 11 Friday (26-May-2017) 04:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017)
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

Your team's recorded oral presentation will be assessed by considering each of the following assessment criteria:-

a) Have you identified the parameters of your topic or problem?

b) Have you prioritised relevant detail for inclusion?

c) Is the information included accurate and evidence-based?

d) Does your content indicate that you understand the most important aspects of the vascular study?

e) Have you used images and graphics which are relevant and of satisfactory quality?

f) Have you clearly taken into account your specific audience i.e. your fellow students in MEDS13008 Vascular Sonography?

g) Do you have adequate support from peer-reviewed, up-to-date references?

h) Is your organisation, spelling, grammar and use of vocabulary exemplary?

A full marking Rubric is available on the Moodle page.

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

Only one submission per group of recorded oral presentation to be uploaded onto Moodle. The individual critiques of other groups' presentations will be submitted individually on the unit Moodle page. SPA links will be sent to individual students.

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

1. Apply knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathological processes of the vascular system to sonographic examinations and sonographic image appearances.

3. Analyse normal, anomalous and abnormal flow haemodynamics and laboratory findings.

4. Demonstrate professional collaboration with your peers.

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

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work


Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 60%
Condition Minimum percentage of examination marks required to pass course - 50%
Length 180 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. Apply knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathological processes of the vascular system to sonographic examinations and sonographic image appearances.

2. Describe sonographic techniques and protocols appropriate to vascular ultrasound.

3. Analyse normal, anomalous and abnormal flow haemodynamics and laboratory findings.

5. 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 MEDS13008 Vascular Sonography unit teaches cognitive, technical and vascular problem solving skills that will ensure the student can engage with the workplace and wider community. Students are encouraged to read widely, and research issues frequently encountered in the theory of sonographic clinical practice - ranging from techniques employed to pathology to patient psychology. Results from research are outlined and discussed in lectures and throughout the study guide of readings. Assessment items require unit content related research and this knowledge will be applied actively in a related sonographic skills development unit as well as in clinical placement

Graduate Attributes

“Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes” in MEDS13008 - Vascular Sonography include "communication, problem solving, information literacy and information technology competence”. The group-work assessment item is designed to develop communication, collaboration and cooperation between team members whilst focusing on determination of the most important aspects of the anatomy, pathology and sonographic techniques involved in practical application of the theory.

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 and the use of videos and clinical scenarios to create a realistic clinical context. Unit and research material are reviewed for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural sensitivity. The group-work assessment item includes research into vascular disorders that are directly related to common pathologies frequently found in the Indigenous population. Knowledge gained in the process of this research will encourage student appreciation of the indigenous perspective.

Internationalisation of Curriculum

The set textbook for the unit is a third edition written by highly regarded international authors and only recently released in 2014. Students are encouraged to review the practices, worksheets and techniques used and discussed during lectures, for validity against national and international benchmarks. National and International standards for sonographer practice are researched in the assessment item as well as discussed in lectures and tutorials throughout the unit. Cross-cultural approaches to scanning are considered.


Consideration is given to unit lectures, readings and teaching that do not have negative consequences for future generations. Attention to sonographer ergonomics whilst performing vascular studies is a focus in lectures and tutorials to help reduce sonographer injuries and maintain safe work practices. This unit employs reading gained through the use of sustainable ethical research

Work Related Learning

Unit knowledge, practical / research skills and professional behaviour are learnt to improve patient related care. Theory, pathology, protocols, techniques and image optimisation are all directed to the levels required in the professional workplace.

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