Ultrasound Scanning of Volunteer Subjects Policy


Students gain invaluable experience scanning volunteer subjects, both student and non-student, as part of their educationalprograminsonographyatBryanCollegeofHealthSciences. Thepurposeofthispolicyistoensurevoluntary and prudent use of students or other human subjects for non-clinical ultrasound scanning for educational purposes.


Students in any sonography program at the College will be expected to spend time in skills lab scanning human subjects solely for educational purposes during scheduled skills labs, as well as outside of scheduled skills lab hours. Students may scan each other as appropriate. They are afforded the same rights and safeguards as a non-student volunteer subject as described below. This is very valuable and students are encouraged to serve as subjects for their classmates. However, students have the right to elect not to be scanned without any impact to their grade in the course or progression in the program. If a student elects not to be scanned, he/she is responsible for providing a volunteer to be scanned for each scheduled lab. Volunteer subjects outside of the program are also used to provide students with scanning experience. All subjects must sign a consent form prior to being scanned by the student. The consent form must give a brief explanation of the procedure to be performed and any possible risks. The subject may change his/her mind about this consent at any time before or during the procedure simply by informing the student performing the procedure.

Obstetrical Volunteer Subjects

In order to be eligible to volunteer for an obstetrical ultrasound procedure for student educational purposes the subject must be beyond the first trimester of the pregnancy and have undergone an anatomical survey obstetrical ultrasound during this pregnancy. In addition the volunteer must inform her primary obstetrical care provider of her intention to participate in the student educational procedure.

Transvaginal Ultrasound Volunteer Subjects

Female students may be asked to volunteer as a subject for a transvaginal ultrasound procedure to be performed by a classmate, or peer students, enrolled in the Bryan College of Health Sciences, School of Health Professions under the direct supervision of an instructor in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.
The ultrasound procedure will require the student to lie on a table and have a hand held ultrasound transducer inserted into the vagina. The student may change her mind about consenting to the procedure at any time and the procedure will be cancelled or stopped. The procedure is solely for educational purposes.
Students will not be required, nor will they be coerced to volunteer. Students who wish not to volunteer will not be retaliated against in any way or held in ill-will. Participation is completely voluntary on the student’s part.

The consent form for all volunteers must make clear that the scanning is being done for educational purposes only and there are no guarantees or assurances concerning the accuracy or results of the procedures and no diagnosis will be made. The consent and a HIPAA Release form must be signed by the volunteer subject or legal guardian of the subject, or other authorized representative. Parental permission is required for any subject under the age of 19.

No results of the procedure will be given to the volunteer. In the event that the procedure being performed suggests certain findings that may be of clinical importance, the course instructor will review the findings, and if, in the opinion of the instructor, such a situation may exist, the volunteer will be informed via the procedure in the Incidental Findings Policy and encouraged to discuss it with a physician of his/her choice. In the event a student volunteer needs a physician referral but does not have a physician, the instructor will encourage the student to contact Employee Health Services who will assist them with a physician referral.
No record or results of the procedure will become a part of any medical record and will not include the name or any other information that may identify the subject.

The consent form must include a release of responsibility statement releasing the student, Bryan Medical Center and the College and the staffs thereof from any liability or responsibility associated with or related to the performance or outcomes of the procedure.

Incidental Finding Policy:

An incidental finding is the identification of a sonographic finding or medical condition that was previously unknown to the volunteer. Incidental findings can range from normal variations or other minor findings to clinically significant or life- threatening pathologies.
In the event an Incidental Finding is suspected or discovered on a volunteer during a sonographic scan the following steps must be followed:

  1. The lab or course Instructor should speak with the volunteer individually in private and provide an explanation similar to the following:
    1. During the scan, the ultrasound appeared to be different than expected. I cannot be sure if it is significant or not. You should consult your personal physician or other healthcare provider (e.g., physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.) and tell them you were participating as a volunteer in a non-diagnostic sonography scan lab and the sonographic examination appeared to be different than expected. Yourpersonalphysicianwilldecidewhetheryoushouldhaveadiagnosticultrasound performed.
  2. Provide the volunteer with an Incidental Finding Form that they can take to their physician.

  3. Do not provide the volunteer with any information regarding the finding as we are not allowed to diagnose- only suggest a follow up.