Point-of-care ultrasound education for non-physician clinicians in a resource-limited emergency department

Lori A. Stolz, Krithika M. Muruganandan, Mark C. Bisanzo, Mugisha J. Sebikali, Bradley A. Dreifuss, Heather S. Hammerstedt, Sara W. Nelson, Irene Nayabale, Srikar Adhikari, Sachita P. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the outcomes and curriculum components of an educational programme to train non-physician clinicians working in a rural, Ugandan emergency department in the use of POC ultrasound. Methods: The use of point-of-care ultrasound was taught to emergency care providers through lectures, bedsides teaching and hands-on practical sessions. Lectures were tailored to care providers' knowledge base and available therapeutic means. Every ultrasound examination performed by these providers was recorded over 4.5 years. Findings of these examinations were categorised as positive, negative, indeterminate or procedural. Other radiologic studies ordered over this same time period were also recorded. Results: A total of 22 639 patients were evaluated in the emergency department by emergency care providers, and 2185 point-of-care ultrasound examinations were performed on 1886 patients. Most commonly used were the focused assessment with sonography in trauma examination (53.3%) and echocardiography (16.4%). Point-of-care ultrasound studies were performed more frequently than radiology department-performed studies. Positive findings were documented in 46% of all examinations. Conclusions: We describe a novel curriculum for point-of-care ultrasound education of non-physician emergency practitioners in a resource-limited setting. These non-physician clinicians integrated ultrasound into clinical practice and utilised this imaging modality more frequently than traditional radiology department imaging with a large proportion of positive findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1072
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Non-physician clinicians
  • Point-of-care ultrasound
  • Resource-limited
  • Rural
  • Task-shifting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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