Ultrasound has become an increasingly important tool in the bedside assessment of patients, especially in emergency and intensive care settings. To gain competence in ultrasound scanning, medical professionals are required to go through quality training and ongoing practice that allows them to acquire various scanning techniques and skills. However, ultrasound skills training is typically generalised and may not cater to varying levels of experience or expertise. This poses a challenge in developing medical professionals' skills in ultrasound holistically.
The one-size-fits-all solution? Simulation.
"We see the need to equip doctors across medical and surgical specialties to confidently perform ultrasounds in their day-to-day clinical practice." Dr Chan Kim Poh, Course Director of POCUS and Senior Consultant, Emergency Medicine, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), shared. "Our participants usually come to us with varying levels of experience and expertise in performing ultrasound scans. Hence, we worked with the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation (SIMS) to revamp the Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) workshop to incorporate both basic and advanced ultrasound simulation skills training."
Using manikins and task trainers, the basic workshop equips junior doctors with fundamental techniques and skills to perform ultrasounds or clinical procedures that require the use of ultrasound. On the other hand, the advanced workshop allows clinicians, such as newly promoted Associate Consultants, to familiarise themselves with the uses of ultrasound in their respective specialties. Participants are taught by a roster of senior faculty from different sub-specialities, and have opportunities to practise on ultrasound simulators to diagnose pathologies otherwise not possible to demonstrate on models.
Dr Lim Fang Yi, Year 2 SingHealth Internal Medicine Resident, explained how attending the workshop has helped build up her confidence in performing ultrasound scans at work. "In medical school, we learnt the basics of ultrasound interpretation and the importance of the ultrasound as a bedside tool. This workshop imparted more in-depth knowledge on ultrasounds and offered many pearls of wisdom on how to apply this to clinical assessment to guide patient management. It was also an invaluable opportunity for hands-on practice of our ultrasound skills."
"I attended the advanced workshop to sharpen my clinical skills." Dr Ang Joo Shiang, Associate Consultant, Emergency Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), shared. "The workshop taught me how to conduct detailed deep vein thrombosis scanning, which is important in my line of work. It was also interesting to learn about obstetrics ultrasounds, which isn't usually taught in other ultrasound courses."
The first run of the expanded POCUS workshop was successfully launched in March 2019, and attended by more than 20 medical professionals from varying specialties and expertise in Singapore's various healthcare clusters.
The POCUS (Basic and Advanced) workshop will be held as a Pre-Conference workshop at the upcoming S3 Conference 2019 in October! Join us at the S3 Conference to explore the latest technologies in healthcare simulation for transformative learning. For more information or to register for the workshop, click here.
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