MSK Ultrasound Short Course – Interview with Dan Jones

Head of Medical Services at professional Welsh regional rugby union team, Cardiff Blues, Dan Jones recently completed the MSK Ultrasound Short Course at AECC University College. The course focuses on the safe use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions.

Dan tells us more about why he undertook the course:

Can you tell us a bit about your current job?

“I lead the Medical department at Cardiff Blues. My role is both clinical and managerial. The department consists of four physiotherapists, three doctors, a sports therapist, and a number of interns.

“We aim to deliver the best possible evidence-based care to the senior and academy squads. As part of my role, I attend weekly fixtures and training sessions, as well as carrying out daily clinic assessments, treatment, and rehabilitation.

“Outside of rugby, I am also Managing Director of Health & Sports Physiotherapy and Pro Sports Medicine Ltd – a Sports Injury Clinic that I established in 2008. 

“The most rewarding part of the job is working with younger athletes and supporting their development by encouraging professional behaviours and habits, and playing a small part in their career progression. 

“You can’t beat the excitement and buzz of game day of course! Working at a packed stadium is always a highlight, which we are all missing at present due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“As a medical department, we work to reduce injury risk using injury reduction strategies. We work closely with the Strength & Conditioning team and coaches to identify individual players’ needs to reduce the risks of common rugby injuries.

“It is almost impossible to completely reduce injury risk, but by implementing injury reduction strategies we are helping players to stay fit for longer, which we know has a positive effect on results. 

“In addition, I’ve been leading our COVID return to training and play protocol at the Cardiff Blues. This has been immensely challenging, but also rewarding working alongside colleagues at the Welsh Rugby Union and senior management at Cardiff Blues to facilitate the players’ safe return to work.”

Why did you take the MSK Ultrasound Course?

“I was looking to enhance my clinical practice within professional/elite level sport and private practice. The point of care musculoskeletal ultrasound allows us as Physiotherapists to support our subjective and objective clinical assessments with real-time imaging, enhancing our diagnostic skills.

“The course at AECC University College gives you the flexibility to learn both remotely with mentors, and also attend masterclasses in person when you are able. This fits perfectly around busy work and life schedules, enabling development of skills while still working full-time or managing family life.

“The course was recommended to me by Dr. Geoff Davies, a Welsh Rugby Union Consultant Sports Physician. Geoff is a long-term colleague of mine and he completed the course at AECC University College. He spoke very highly of the course and endorsed the University, having felt it had enhanced his practice.”

Are you using the skills that you learned on the course in your current job?

“I’m still in the very early stages of my journey with MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound. Over the past three years, I’ve worked under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Gareth Jones (a Cardiff Blues Sports Physician).

“I have used the skills that I learned on the course extensively in both professional sport and private practice environments. Like all skills, the more you see and do, the more you learn. It has added a new dimension to my clinical practice, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the knowledge and extreme patience of my mentor, Dr Gareth Jones!

“Fellow Physiotherapists, Helen Welch and Gruff Parsons, have also played a big part in supporting my development over the past few years.”

You can find out more about our Ultrasound Short Courses at AECC University College here. 

Dan Jones

Above: Dan Jones