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Cureus. 2018 Nov 15;10(11):e3597. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3597.

Multimodular Ultrasound Orientation: Residents' Confidence and Skill in Performing Point-of-care Ultrasound.

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Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA.
Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.
Emergency Medicine, University of California, Riverside, USA.


Introduction The objectives of this study were to determine if a multimodular introductory ultrasound course improved emergency medicine intern confidence in performing a point-of-care ultrasound and if our educational objectives could be met with our chosen structure. Methods This is a prospective, observational study evaluating three consecutive incoming emergency medicine residency classes from three residency programs. A one-day introductory ultrasound course was delivered. The course consisted of 1) flipped classroom didactics, 2) in-person, case-based interactive teaching sessions, and 3) check-listed, goal-driven, hands-on instruction. Results Over three years, 73 residents participated in this study. There was no significant difference in performance on the written test (p = 0.54) or the skills assessment (p = 0.16) between years. Performance on the written pre-test was not a predictor of performance on the skills test (R= 0.028; p = 0.19). Prior to training, residents were most confident in performing a focused assessment with sonography for trauma examination (median confidence 5.5 (interquartile range (IQR): 3 - 7) on a 10-point Likert scale where 1 represents low confidence and 10 represents high confidence). They reported the lowest confidence in performing a cardiac ultrasound (3 (IQR: 2 - 6)). Following training, residents reported increased confidence with all applications (p < 0.001). Eighty-five percent (confidence interval (CI): 73, 92) of residents agreed that the online ultrasound lectures effectively teach point-of-care ultrasound applications and 98% (CI: 88, 100) agreed that case-based interactive sessions helped them understand how ultrasound changes the management of acutely ill patients. Conclusions A written test of knowledge regarding the use of point-of-care ultrasound does not correlate with procedural skills at the start of residency, suggesting that teaching and evaluation of both types of skills are necessary. Following a multimodular introductory ultrasound course, residents showed increased confidence in performing the seven basic ultrasound applications. Residents reported that an asynchronous curriculum and case-based interactive sessions met the learning objectives and effectively taught point-of-care ultrasound applications.


emergency medicine; multimodular; orientation course; point-of-care ultrasound; residents

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