Training on ultrasound for primary care physicians



Now we will tell you how the FOCUS POCUS Ultrasound Team, together with our project team, is strengthening the competencies of doctors, nurses, and medical assistants in performing ultrasound examinations in primary care. 

With the further implementation of the health care reform in Ukraine, more and more medical services are provided by primary care doctors and nurses. Therefore, there is a need to expand the competencies of primary care specialists to provide high-quality, timely, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. This spring, we are helping primary care specialists develop their ultrasound competencies.

POCUS (Point-of-Care Ultrasound) is a diagnostic ultrasound examination (ultrasound) performed to answer a specific clinical question quickly. Using portable ultrasound devices in primary care improves access to care, speeds up diagnosis, improves treatment outcomes, reduces costs, and promotes trust in healthcare providers.

POCUS can be used for the following conditions:

  • FAST examination in case of trauma,
  • Ultrasound support of procedures (e.g., abscess drainage),
  • detection of foreign bodies and soft tissue ultrasound; assessment of kidneys for hydronephrosis,
  • diagnosis of pneumonia (COVID-19), pulmonary edema, and hydrothorax,
  • musculoskeletal system evaluation (e.g., tendinopathy),
  • confirmation of intrauterine pregnancy and fetal position assessment,
  • indicative echocardiogram,
  • examination of the thyroid gland,
  • screening for aortic aneurysm and ultrasound carotid imaging,
  • evaluation of the right hypochondrium for possible cholecystitis,
  • evaluation of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs.

To participate in the training, we invite only representatives of those primary care facilities that have peer groups and plan to introduce ultrasound at the facility level. So far, we have conducted one training in Mukachevo for 16 participants. In April-May, we plan to hold four more activities in other cities in Ukraine.

The training consists of online and offline training:

  • During the online training, medical professionals learn basic theoretical knowledge about ultrasound and the use of devices.
  • During the two-day offline training, participants learn and practice ultrasound skills – they practice ultrasound independently under the supervision of five trainers.

At the end of the training, we assess the level of knowledge before and after the online training. The trainers evaluate the mastery of ultrasound skills according to the checklist during the offline part. And, of course, all those who successfully pass the assessment receive certificates.

You can see how the training takes place here —>

The Ukrainian-Swiss project “Medical Education Development” finances training only for those primary care facilities where peer groups are actively functioning.

Photos provided by the POCUS team.