Physician Assistants and Point-of-care Ultrasound (POCUS)

Obtaining POCUS mastery is becoming increasingly important for PAs. Overcome traditional barriers with SonoSim's easily integrated hands-on training platform.

Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are on the rise, and so is the need for point-of-care ultrasound

Workplace evolution has led to traditional tasks and roles formerly reserved for physicians being transitioned to advanced practice providers, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Healthcare providers who perform a physical examination coupled with point-of-care ultrasound are uniquely empowered to better understand patient anatomy and detect pathologic conditions. 

Physician Assistants (PAs) and Ultrasound Training

Most medical schools are integrating point-of-care ultrasound into their curricula in various ways. Focused ultrasound instruction is used in teaching human anatomy, performing a physical examination, and executing needle-based procedures. 

Similarly, PA programs need to prepare their students to use bedside ultrasound for the benefit of their patients. While bladder sonography and ultrasound-guided peripheral IV catheter placement are basic skills each PA should possess, physician assistants can have more highly refined ultrasound requirements based on practice specialty. 

Barriers to Physician Assistant POCUS Education

Lack of access to ultrasound machines and trained faculty are some of the biggest challenges to integrating ultrasound into physician assistant programs. Physician assistant programs also face content challenges, like access to pathologic cases. This is where SonoSim can help. 

The SonoSim Difference

SonoSim assists PA programs with delivering ultrasound ultrasound education and training to their students, and building a foundation of ultrasound knowledge in their students, which can be built on by graduates to further develop job-specific ultrasound proficiencies. 

Novice to advanced learners can learn ultrasound online with the most comprehensive library of ultrasound training.  SonoSim's 80+ medical topics aren't just an online course.  We combine online didactics with hands-on scanning of real patient cases applied to virtual patients accessible anytime, anywhere. With the ability to uniformly train and assess any number of learners, SonoSim's Ultrasound Training platform provides standardized education that matches AIUM’s Practice Parameters for the Performance of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Examinations.

POCUS Literature

Afonso N, Amponsah D, Yang J, et al. Adding new tools to the black bag: introduction of ultrasound into the physical diagnosis course. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25:1248-1252. 

Angtuaco TL, Hopkins RH, DuBose TJ, et al. Sonographic Physical Diagnosis 101: Teaching senior medical students basic ultrasound scanning skills using a compact ultrasound system. Ultrasound Q. 2007;23:157-160. 

Bahl A, Pandurangadu AV, Tucker J, Bagan M. (2016). A randomized controlled trial assessing the use of ultrasound for nurse-performed IV placement in difficult access ED patients. Am J Emerg Med. 2016;34(10):1950-1954.

Brackney A, Jung D, Afonso N, et al. The utility of cardiac ultrasound in preclinical medical school curriculum. Med Sci Educ 2016; 26:597–601.

Cooper RA, Henderson T, Dietrich CL. Roles of nonphysician clinicians as autonomous providers of patient care. JAMA. 1998;280(9):795-802. doi:10.1001/jama.280.9.795.

Dreher SM, DePhilip R, Bahner D. Ultrasound exposure during gross anatomy. J Emerg Med 2014; 46:231–240.

Giles M, Watts W, O’Brien A, et al. Does our bundle stack up! Innovative nurse-led changes for preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). Healthc Infect. 2015;20(2):62-71.

Griksaitis MJ, Sawdon MA, Finn GM. Ultrasound and cadaveric prosections as methods for teaching cardiac anatomy: a comparative study. Anat Sci Educ 2012; 5:20–26. 

Hoyer R, Means R, Robertson J, et al. Ultrasound-guided procedures in medical education: a fresh look at cadavers. Intern Emerg Med 2016; 11:431–436. 

Ivanusic J, Cowie B, Barrington M. Undergraduate student perceptions of the use of ultrasonography in the study of “living anatomy.” Anat Sci Educ 2010; 3:318–322. 

Mouratev G, Howe D, Hoppmann R, et al. Teaching medical students ultrasound to measure liver size: comparison with experienced clinicians using physical examination alone. Teach Learn Med. 2013;25: 84-88. 

Nelson BP, Hojsak J, Dei Rossi E, et al. Seeing is believing: Evaluating a point-of-care ultrasound curriculum for first-year medical students. Teach Learn Med 2017; 29:85–92. 

Sampathkumar P, Barth JW, Johnson M, et al. Mayo Clinic reduces catheter-associated urinary tract infections through a bundled 6-C approach. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42(6):254-261.

Shapiro RS, Ko PP, Jacobson S. A pilot project to study the use of ultrasonography for teaching physical examination to medical students. Comput Biol Med 2002; 32:403–409. 

Teichgräber U, Meyer J, Nautrup CP, et al. Ultrasound anatomy: a practical teaching system in human gross anatomy. Med Educ 1996; 30:296–298.

Tshibwabwa ET, Groves HM, Levine MA. Teaching musculoskeletal ultrasound in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Med Educ. 2007;5(5):517–518. 

Wittich CM, Montgomery SC, Neben MA, et al. Teaching cardiovascular anatomy to medical students by using a handheld ultrasound device. JAMA. 2002;5(9):1062–1063. 

Yatim J, Wong, KS, Ling ML, Tan SB, Tan KY, Hockenberry M. A nurse‐driven process for timely removal of urinary catheters. Int J Urol Nurs. 2016;10(3):167-172.

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