The European Respiratory Society led training programme improves self-reported competency and increases the use of thoracic ultrasound.
Pietersen PI., Konge L., Bhatnagar R., Slavicky M., Rahman NM., Maskell N., Crombag L., Tabin N., Laursen CB., Nielsen AB.
Thoracic ultrasound has become a well-implemented diagnostic tool for assessment and monitoring of patients with respiratory symptoms or disease. However, ultrasound examinations are user dependent and sufficient competencies are needed. The European Respiratory Society (ERS) hosts a structured and evidence-based training programme in thoracic ultrasound. This study aimed to explore and discuss the self-reported activity and self-reported competency of the participants during the ERS course. Online surveys were sent to the training programme participants before the second part of the course (practical part of the course), and before and 3 months after the third part of the course (final certification exam). A total of 77 participants completed the surveys. The self-reported frequency of thoracic ultrasound examinations increased during the course, and in the final survey more than 90% of the participants used thoracic ultrasound on weekly basis. The self-reported competency (on technical execution of the thoracic ultrasound examination and overall competency) also increased. The ERS thoracic ultrasound training programme forms the basis of broad theoretical knowledge and sufficient practical skills that seem to lead to behavioural changes, whereby a large proportion of the participants implemented ultrasound in their clinical practice.