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ultrasound students


Ultrasound Champions:

Dale Quirke, MD; Travis Honeycutt, MD; Michael Williford, MD; and Andrea Honeycutt, MD

Medicine Block

During the student’s eight week block on medicine, we strive to teach students how to use POCUS to answer specific clinical questions that guide them in the day-to-day management of their patients. The medicine POCUS lecture series focuses on cardiac and pulmonary POCUS, as well as the RUSH exam since these topics are frequently relevant in medicine patients. Students have portable ultrasound probes available to use for scanning with their residents and attendings. Also, students have specific times set aside for scanning live patients on the teaching service with their POCUS instructor. Our hope is that students will be able to identify both normal and pathologic POCUS findings in order to assist them with management decisions. 

Pediatric Block

During the inpatient pediatric block, third-year medical students receive a didactic lecture focused on the use of point-of-care ultrasound in inpatient pediatrics followed by a 2-hour bedside scanning session with real patients on the pediatric ward and in the pediatric ICU. Students also receive informal teaching during rounds at the bedside with our Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) trained faculty.

Learning objectives for this rotation include a focus on lung ultrasound for the diagnosis of pneumonia, pulmonary edema and pneumothorax. In addition, there is a focus on cardiac ultrasound for children with undifferentiated shock. 

Outpatient Block

During the outpatient block, focus will be on a variety of topics including screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, identification of urinary tract abnormalities such as bladder obstruction and hydronephrosis, right upper quadrant ultrasound to evaluate for biliary disease, and basic skills in identifying intrauterine pregnancy, estimating gestational age, and measuring fetal heart rate. Additional practical sessions will focus on identification of cellulitis, abscess, and skin infections as well as retrieval of foreign bodies in skin on a simulated tissue model.

Surgery Block

During the eight week surgery block, students are welcomed onto a variety of surgical services. Four weeks are spent with the general and trauma surgery teams, and four weeks are spent with the subspecialty teams. We truly desire for students to be engaged while on service, and strive to have well defined roles and expectations. We begin the eight week block with an introductory lecture to familiarize the students with the learning objectives, logistics and advocates that they will have while on service. We also spend time in the simulation lab where we review the key elements of leading a trauma evaluation.

A key component of a trauma evaluation is a FAST exam. FAST is an acronym that stands for Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma. Ultrasound is a non-invasive technology for evaluating for traumatic pathologies such as pneumothorax, cardiac tamponade and hemoperitoneum. These are pathologies that must be addressed immediately in the trauma bay, and these interventions can be lifesaving. One of our goals for students on service is to learn the elements of a trauma evaluation and feel comfortable performing a FAST exam. Ultrasound technology is also a helpful adjunct for procedures such as central line placement and arterial line placement, and it is likely that these procedures will be encountered on service in the midst of patient care.