A survey recently was conducted about the use of point of care ultrasound and regarding the skill set within the department and future learning. The following is a breakdown of the respondents.
About half the respondents have completed a formal accredited ultrasound course (majority being consultants). For more information about courses and when they are on see here and calendar at bottom of homepage.
A large majority stated that they would like to do a Certificate in Clinician Performed Ultrasound. I have described further how to get accredited in ultrasound in the accreditation section of the website if you require more information about what a CCPU is and how to go about achieving it. I am also happy to discuss with you either in person or via email/phone.
The following is where our skill-set lies within the department. As we role out each accreditation module I will be looking for both consultant and registrar topic champions to help develop the learning within the department in particular those that have identified themselves as experts/advanced scanners.
To start our accreditation process off I would like all registrars to have completed a course or have commenced the UTEC modules (see each module/accreditation section, UHG sign up code = GORUS) and to focus on AAA scanning, eFAST & vascular access in addition to completing the physics module. At a minimum if you complete the accreditation process you will have met accreditation for ACEM but then could easily translate that into a CCPU should you wish later down the track.
SPARQ Ultrasound Machine:
Most users are familiar with the machine, probes and making minor adjustments to the images although there are some in the department who are not familiar with using US or have never used a SPARQ. Please familiarise yourself with the SPARQ manual and how to care for machine and probes and ask one of the senior staff for guidance on initial use or more advanced functions.
Entering patient details and labelling/saving scans is rarely done by anyone. With accreditation we are encouraging registrars & consultants to at least enter pt details and either a label or body marker when saving images. I am hoping to get the machine integrated with PACS so the scans can become part of the patient record. Before this begins it is imperative that we are at a bare minimum saving some images and entering patient details. Registrar scans will also be required to be saved/labelled for the review process.
Teaching Within the Department
Most of the registrars are currently at a novice to beginner level for eFAST, AAA, vascular access. Our initial education & accreditation will be focused primarily on these topics. Throughout the year I would like to introduce further modules on Basic ECHO in Life Support and Lung Ultrasound as I think they have great utility in the ED and are quick scans that can change the patients course. For more advanced trainees we may cover DVT & Biliary should time permit but I will put up some modules for these to get you started.
I would also like to see what the general registrar consensus would be if we organised an accredited 2 day course covering the basics and provided by from external providers to be held in Geelong later in the year. Other hospitals have done this and the feedback from their trainees has been great. Obviously there would be some costs involved but if this is something that interests you then please let me know.
I am also hoping to create an Ultrasound special interest group within the department with 3-4 evening meetings a year where we can discuss ultrasound governance, education and interesting cases over cheese and wine (off site of course).
Finally I have created a website www.pocusgeelong.com where information about accreditation, requirements for each scanning module, information about the Ultrasound machines use, logbooks and assessments and extra resources can be found here. The website will also have a blog where teaching pearls, cases and interesting links will be posted.
Thanks for completing the survey and happy scanning
Dr Luke Phillips