Friday, November 14, 2014

Can medical students learn point of care echocardiography with brief training?

From a recent study:

..The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of bedside echocardiographic examinations performed with the use of pocket-size echocardiograph by experienced cardiologist and medical students...
All patients underwent bedside echocardiographic examination performed with pocket-size echocardiograph by two briefly trained medical students (n=90 patients) or cardiologist (n=30 patients). Major findings were recorded using a simplified questionnaire. Within 24 hours standard echocardiographic examination was performed in all patients by another cardiologist using a full sized echocardiograph. The study group was divided into 4 subgroups: A / B - first / second half of in-patients examined by students, group C - inpatients examined by cardiologist, group D- out-patients examined by students.
Results: The agreement between standard transthoracic echocardiography (sTTE) and major findings on bedside transthoracic echocardiography (bTTE) was fair to moderate (kappa 0.293-0.57) in group A, moderate to very good (kappa 0.535-1.00) in group B, good to very good (kappa 0.734-1.00) in group C and moderate to very good (kappa 0.590-1.00) in group D.
Conclusions: Pocket-size echocardiograph enables an expert echocardiographer to perform reliable bedside examinations. When used by briefly trained medical students it provides an acceptable diagnostic value with notable learning curve effect.

Via Hospital Medicine Virtual Journal Club.

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