Dear Reader

A question of image

There has been an article on the BBC News website recently under the headline ‘Concern at baby scan foetus parties’. In the piece, the chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives expressed concerns that ‘foetus parties’ with 3D and 4D ‘bonding scans’ are commercialising human pregnancy.

Such are the advances that have been made in human scanning techniques that private companies now offer live scanning events, at which friends and family can watch as moving images of the baby in the womb are shown on a monitor!

Readers of this month’s issue of VNJ will not fail to be impressed by the nature and quality of the images in the article by Andrew Holloway on the subject of ultrasonography. What a wealth of information there is to be gleaned from this safe, non-invasive procedure that generates moving pictures and has led to huge steps forward in veterinary diagnosis and the efficient management of a plethora of clinical conditions.

That is not to decry the value of radiography, for as Kimberley Palgrave points out, the advent of computed radiography and direct digital radiography have revolutionised this aspect of veterinary practice.

Gone are the days of slopping tanks of corrosive chemicals in cupboard-sized dark rooms lit only by a dim red lamp, their silence punctuated by the ticking of the clockwork timer or the muttered oaths of nurses on the discovery of errors in exposure, or that someone has reversed the order of the developing tanks!

And then in her ‘Day in the life of…’ article, Julia Anne Hurley describes how much of her daily routine is involved with endoscopy and how – in conjunction with ultrasound and CT scanning – its various permutations can be used as an integral part of internal veterinary medical procedures.

All of these techniques have brought a whole new range of sophisticated skills within the remit of the RVN and provided really worthwhile opportunities for specialisation, career progression and the enhancement of ‘self-worth’.

That is, of course, until someone spoils everything with the launch of the first ‘Fido foetus party’!


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/j.2045-0648.2012.00139.x or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 27 pp 38

• VOL 27 • February 2012 • Veterinary Nursing Journal