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J Ultrasound Med. 2018 Sep 12. doi: 10.1002/jum.14805. [Epub ahead of print]

The Use of Ultrasound Simulators to Strengthen Scanning Skills in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
3
St. Mary's Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study evaluates the use of ultrasound simulators for retaining and improving ultrasound skills acquired in undergraduate ultrasound training.

METHODS:

Fourth-year medical students (n = 19) with prior training in point-of-care sonography for shock assessment were recruited for this study. Students were randomly assigned to a study group (n = 10) that followed an undergraduate ultrasound training curriculum, then used a simulator to complete 2 self-directed practice ultrasound sessions over 4 weeks. The control group (n = 9) followed the same undergraduate ultrasound training curriculum and received no additional access to a simulator or ultrasound training. A blinded assessment of the students was performed before and after the 4-week study period to evaluate their image acquisition skills on standardized patients (practical examination). To evaluate the student's clinical understanding of pathological ultrasound images, students watched short videos of prerecorded ultrasound scans and were asked to complete a 22-point questionnaire to identify their findings (visual examination).

RESULTS:

All results were adjusted to pretest performance. The students in the study group performed better than those in the control group on the visual examination (80.1% versus 58.9%; P = .003) and on the practical examination (77.7% versus 57.0%; P = .105) after the 4-week study period. The score difference on the postintervention practical examinations was significantly better for the study group compared to the control group (11.6% versus -9.9%; P = .0007).

CONCLUSION:

The use of ultrasound simulators may be a useful tool to help previously trained medical students retain and improve point-of-care ultrasound skills and knowledge.

KEYWORDS:

echo-guided life support; medical education; point-of-care ultrasound; ultrasound simulators

PMID:
30208243
DOI:
10.1002/jum.14805

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