Incorporating Perioperative Point-of-Care Ultrasound as Part of the Anesthesia Residency Curriculum

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Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia


OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to establish whether implementing a curriculum of perioperative point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) of the heart and lungs for current in-training anesthesia residents during their required month of cardiac anesthesia was feasible and whether an evaluation tool would demonstrate improvement in the residents' baseline knowledge of POCUS.

DESIGN: Single-center, prospective, cohort, and observational study.

SETTING: A tertiary-care, university-affiliated hospital.

PARTICIPANTS: The study comprised 16 anesthesia residents on their third postgraduate training year during their required cardiac anesthesia rotation.

INTERVENTIONS: The implementation of a curriculum to educate anesthesia residents in perioperative POCUS of the heart and lungs on patients undergoing elective cardiothoracic procedures that included both theoretical and practical approaches. A 21-question, multiple-choice, electronic-generated test was developed to gauge performance improvement from before ("pretest") to after ("posttest") the 4-week period.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the 16 residents, 13 (81.3%) showed improved scores between the pretest and posttest periods after the 4-week rotation. The difference between pretest and posttest mean score was 5 (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that integrating a curriculum dedicated to perioperative POCUS of the heart and lungs as part of the goals and objectives during the rotation of cardiac anesthesia is feasible and that anesthesia residents who received the training proposed by the authors improved their cognitive and technical skills.

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ePub ahead of print