DR. CAMILLA EDWARDS DVM Cert AVP MRCVS

Camilla is a 2006 Copenhagen Veterinary College graduate, and I am used to Danish colleagues speaking fluent English. Even so I was particularly impressed by Camilla’s command over our language, but not surprising when she revealed in her CV that she grew up on an ostrich farm in Essex, with both parents being Danish. She has had a lot of practical experience, particularly in ECC hospitals, before founding her own ultrasound company First Opinion Veterinary Ultrasound in 2018. This includes peripatetic ultrasonography, online courses and a lot more, including reviewing various ultrasound machines. See www.fovu.co.uk

Undoubtedly there is a massive potential for ultrasound use, not only in first opinion practice but also in specialist clinics. In my view developing an interest in and advanced knowledge of ultrasonography is a hugely valuable skill for any vet in practice to acquire. There has never been a better time to develop this skill, particularly for young colleagues starting out in their careers, and a transferable skill to your next practice.

This veterinary webinar by Camilla is a very good starting point, and is the first of three from her in October 2022. Ultrasonography is also a skill very worthwhile for veterinary nurses to acquire, and Camilla runs courses for them. The WebinarVet includes presentations by UK veterinary nurse Jack Pye, (see archives,) and also will include a two-hour session from him entitled ‘Diagnostic Imaging Evening’ as part of the Virtual Congress 2023 on the 9th.of February.  As an aside, I was recently scanned on several occasions by a nurse qualified in human nursing, whose expertise has been recognised and utilised by various surgical and medical consultants in her hospital.

I have been on one or two basic courses but resisted the temptation to jump to Camilla’s clinical presentations and I am very pleased I watched her first introductory webinar. She begins by describing your current barriers to ultrasound, suggesting that they are: 

  1. Time
  2. Your self-belief
  3. YOUR machine
  4. Training

Having outlined time constraints familiar to all, she offers solutions. Don’t have the machine gathering dust in some inaccessible place-keep it ideally in the prep room. Turn the machine on first thing. Find a doggy friend to practice on and schedule time to start imaging, and have a colleague to train along with.

I am willing to bet many of you will recognise yourselves, me too, in the self-belief section in which Camilla identifies five common problems. This includes a new term for me ‘Comparisonitis’ (but very apt). I thought the solutions were excellent too, particularly on how to deal with negative thoughts.  Next up, and giving you an idea of the practical and amusing content in the webinar,  ‘YOUR machine –the problem’ lists four common misconceptions:

  • It’s not the most up to date machine
  • You are not sure what the buttons do and which ones are important
  • You’re worried if you start playing with it you might ‘break it’ for the next person
  • It looks too complicated

These misconceptions are easily counteracted by Camilla in ‘YOUR machine-the solutions’

  • Even with older machines you can still get useful information for your patients
  • There are 5 key buttons to find on your machine to allow you to optimise your image
  • If you can’t find those buttons-I will help you!
  • Send me your make and model to Camilla@fovu.co.uk

Camilla now goes into a detailed description of what those buttons are called and what they can do. They are: 

  1. Overall gain
  2. Time gain Compensation
  3. Frequency
  4. Depth
  5. Focal zone.

She achieves impressive clarity in describing what the five buttons do, with four different machines displayed together on the various screens, (also demonstrating detailed knowledge of a variety of ultrasound machines.) This section would really suit two colleagues working together with a doggy friend, section by section, as it is very well explained and summarised.

Finally we move on to perceived problems with training: 

  • Cost
  • Learning on a machine that is different to your own
  • Lack of on-going support

Camilla offers entirely pragmatic solutions as seen below.

As I mentioned at the beginning there has never been a better time to start ultrasonography training, with an almost bewildering set of options for its use. Camilla organises courses online, in person and can also mentor in person. There is in addition a FOVU club. Contact details are: 

www.fovu.co.uk and Camilla@fovu.co.uk

 

This is a thoroughly recommended webinar to start your ultrasonography learning curve.

I mentioned Jack Pye, who has three webinars already, and the Virtual Congress 2023 session coming soon. Also on March 8th 2023 Gayle Hallowell will discuss the use of ultrasound in Equine Medical Conditions. Plenty to keep us occupied!