Background: Few studies have compared the effectiveness of brief training courses on point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) skill acquisition of novice faculty vs. trainees. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the change in POCUS image interpretation skills and confidence of novice faculty vs. trainees after a 1-day POCUS training course.
Methods: A 1-day POCUS training course for novice learners was held in March 2017 at the 14th Japanese Society of Hospital General Medicine Semi-Annual Meeting. The 1-day POCUS course included pre-course internet-based modules, live lectures (3.5 hours), and hands-on skills training with live models (1.5 hours). Pre- and post-course written tests to evaluate learners’ POCUS knowledge and image interpretation skills were conducted. Learners also completed a pre- and post-course self-evaluation survey to assess their confidence in performing POCUS exams using a five-point Likert scale. Learners’ satisfaction with the training course was assessed using a post-course evaluation. All learners were novices and were categorized as trainees or faculty. Data were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance.
Results: In total, 60 learners attended the course, and 51 learners (85%) completed all tests and surveys. The 51 novice learners included 29 trainees (4 medical students, 9 PGY 1–2 residents, 16 PGY 3–5 residents) and 22 faculty (6 PGY 6–10 physicians, and 16 physicians PGY11 and higher). The mean pre- and post-course test scores of novice trainees improved from 65.5% to 83.9% while novice faculty improved from 66.7% to 81.5% (p<0.001). The post-course physician confidence scores in using ultrasound significantly increased in all skill categories for both groups. Both trainees and faculty demonstrated similar improvement in their post-course test scores and confidence with no statistically significant differences between the groups. The course evaluation scores for overall satisfaction, satisfaction with faculty members’ teaching skills, and satisfaction with time management were 4.5, 4.6, and 3.7 on a 5-point scale, respectively.
Conclusions: Both novice trainees and faculty showed similar improvement in point-of-care ultrasound image interpretation skills and confidence after a brief training course. Although separate training courses have traditionally been developed for faculty and trainees, novice learners of point-of-care ultrasound may acquire skills at similar rates, regardless of their ranking as faculty or trainee. Future studies are needed to compare the effectiveness of short training courses on image acquisition skills and determine the ideal course design.