Brief report of a novel advanced practice provider–led course for ultrasound novices

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Background and purpose:

Formal training for ultrasound use is essential for critical care providers. Despite a national increase in the utilization of advanced practice providers in critical care, ultrasound education is not routinely provided in their training programs. This study describes and evaluates a 1-day advanced care provider (APP)-led course designed to provide fellow APPs with the skills to obtain and evaluate basic ultrasound images.


A 15-question pretest was administered via anonymous use of a clicker response system. Participants had didactic lectures followed by hands-on experience with live models and instructor. Posttest was administered after achievement of basic ultrasound views. Postcourse evaluations were also administered.


Pretest and posttest questions included identifying anatomy, pathology, quantifying cardiac function, and clinical decision making. Scores improved from 58% on the pretest to 78% on the posttest. All participants acknowledged the need for the course and their ability to transfer the course into practice.

Implications for practice:

This course established that APPs can both teach and learn from their peers in a formal setting. In addition, this course demonstrated that an APP-led course with a combined hands-on and didactic approach is an effective method for critical care ultrasound skills acquisition in ultrasound-novice APPs.

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