Delivering the knowledge base and skills required to assess fetal presentation and wellbeing with ultrasound.

Mercy Perinatal

Developed as a joint initiative between the Mobile Learning Unit, Melbourne Medical School, and Mercy Perinatal, Mercy Hospital for Women.

Many of the problems and clinical questions encountered in routine antenatal care can be quickly solved or easily answered with a bedside ultrasound scan. We have designed this ultrasound course to upskill midwives and doctors providing pregnancy care anywhere to be able to accurately determine fetal presentation, and to assess fetal wellbeing at the point of care, without having to refer on to a medical imaging service.

Designed For

Highly recommended for midwives and doctors providing antenatal and intrapartum care to pregnant women.

Learning Outcomes

  1. DESCRIBE the basics of ultrasound including ultrasound physics, machine operation, bioeffects and machine care.
  2. IDENTIFY relevant fetal anatomy as seen when imaged with ultrasound.
  3. DETERMINE  fetal presentation, lie and position from ultrasound scan images combined with ultrasound probe locations.
  4. EXPLAIN the purpose and possible clinical abnormalities of Amniotic Fluid.
  5. DESCRIBE the ultrasound procedures required to assess amniotic fluid volume, a fetal biophysical profile and feto-placental Dopplers as markers of fetal wellbeing.
  6. ANALYSE the suitability of Doppler ultrasound waveforms and results.
  7. EXPLAIN how Doppler ultrasound results relate to blood flow resistance in the umbilical and fetal middle cerebral arteries in given clinical contexts.
  8. DIFFERENTIATE between the meaning of Middle Cerebral Artery blood flow resistance and velocity.
  9. EXPLAIN how Middle Cerebral Artery Doppler is applied in clinical practice.

Course Units

  • Tutorial 1: Introduction to ultrasound
  • Tutorial 2: Fetal Presentation
  • Tutorial 3: Amniotic Fluid Volume - Biophysical Profile
  • Tutorial 4: Umbilical Artery Doppler
  • Tutorial 5: Middle Cerebral Artery Doppler

Knowledge and Skills

  • Determination of fetal presentation and lie, including understanding when and why assessment of fetal presentation is indicated
  • Recognition of the fetal skull, spine and trunk, in longitudinal and transverse sections
  • Ability to assess amniotic fluid volume, and understanding of how it relates to fetal wellbeing
  • Understanding the most common causes of oligohydramnios and polyhydramnios
  • Ability to assess a fetal biophysical profile
  • Understanding of the basic physics and safety considerations of Doppler ultrasound
  • Ability to assess and quantify umbilical artery and fetal middle cerebral artery resistance
  • Understanding of how umbilical artery and fetal middle cerebral artery Doppler results relate to placental function at different gestations


The assessment is a submission of 5 tutorials, 5 self-assessments, 10 case studies and 1 end of course examination. A certificate is issued upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Delivery Mode

Course completion requires approximately 13 hours of elearning (2 hours each tutorial, 2 hours for all case studies and 1 hour for the exam). This course is delivered online and students can study in their own time and location. Course materials can be accessed using a web browser.

Course Directors

Professor Sue Walker AO, MBBS, FRANZCOG, MD, DDU, CMFM
Sue Walker is a maternal-fetal medicine sub-specialist and an academic clinical researcher. She founded and continues to lead the Mercy Hospital for Women’s Perinatal Department. Sue is a national leader in her field, frequently invited to speak at international and national conferences and was recently awarded an Order of Australia. One of her primary research priorities is reducing preventable stillbirth. Her work has, and continues to focus upon, better assessment of fetal wellbeing and placental function. Sue has fostered a strong educational program through Mercy Perinatal, delivering the Fetal Medicine at Twilight Seminar series, and the hugely successful, annually sold-out conference, the Global Obstetric Update. This ultrasound course is the newest educational initiative that Sue has championed in her quest to bring babies safely home.

Dr Teresa MacDonald MBBS (Hons)
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Mercy Hospital for Women
Clinician Scientist Research Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne
Teresa MacDonald is an obstetrician, gynaecologist and academic researcher. Her PhD investigated ways to improve the detection of poor placental function, under the guidance of Prof Walker as her primary supervisor. There was a major ultrasound focus to this work, interrogating both fetal growth velocity and Doppler ultrasound parameters.

Ms Rachel L Worboys
BN, GDipMid
Nurse Unit Manager, Fetal Monitoring Unit, Mercy Hospital for Women
Rachel Worboys is a midwife providing both clinical and organisational leadership in her role in managing the Mercy’s Fetal Monitoring Unit. This essential part of the hospital’s antenatal landscape performs over 600 ultrasound assessments each month. Rachel performs these assessments as well as trains other midwives working in the unit. She sees the need first-hand for greater access for midwives to training in bedside ultrasound scanning for the assessment of fetal presentation and wellbeing and believes this course will fill the gap.

Dr Elizabeth McCarthy
Senior Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne. Obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine subspecialist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg, and Northern Hospital, Epping, Australia. FRANZCOG, CMFM, DDU Liz completed her Doctor of Medicine in 2006, and her postdoctoral studies have addressed clinical areas of high priority in obstetrics, including obesity in pregnancy, late miscarriage, perinatal palliative care, vaccination during pregnancy, and ultrasound biometry for detection of fetal growth disorders. She has published invited editorials in both The Lancet and British Medical Journal in the diagnosis of miscarriage and fetal growth disorders. She has led several randomised controlled trials investigating the place of simple interventions to reduce gestational weight gain. Liz’s expertise in the area of vaccination in pregnancy and public health advocacy are evidenced by her previous invited position on Australian Technical Advisory Group on (Pertussis and Influenza) Vaccination. She provides consultative advice to RANZCOG in this important area, and is also an associate editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the official scientific journal of RANZCOG.

Sue, Teresa, Rachel and Elizabeth are delighted to be co-directing this ultrasound course, delivering the education required to enable greater access for women to point of care ultrasound assessment in their pregnancies.


  • Ms Nadia Bardien RN, RM, MMID
  • Dr Teresa M MacDonald MBBS (Hons), BMedSci, FRANZCOG, PhD
  • Ms Rachel L Worboys BN, GDipMid
  • Prof Susan P Walker AO, MBBS, FRANZCOG, MD, DDU, CMFM

Application Procedure

Click on the ‘Enrol now’ button to be guided to the application form.

Contact Us

Mobile Learning

E: mobile-learning@unimelb.edu.au

T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


For doctors (specialists/ GPs): AUD $385 (incl. GST)

For midwives/ trainees/ students: AUD $250 (incl. GST)



Entry requirements

Participants of this course should be either enrolled in, or have graduated from, a midwifery or medical degree.