Career Guide: Point-of-Care Ultrasound Technician
So, you’re interested in Point-of-Care Ultrasounds and how they may benefit patients, and how you might study this technology in order to connect it to your career.
Well, you’re in the right place. With a little luck and a lot of research, this article will help you to understand what a Point-of-Care ultrasound is, how it’s used, and how you may be able to study it.
Point-of-Care Ultrasounds: A History
POCUS ultrasounds are used in modern medicine to accompany primary care physicians in their physical examinations to aid the investigation of unclear results. Simply, POCUS is used to point out if there is or isn’t any pathological results in a patient.
This type of ultrasound gained popularity in the 80s, and in the realm of internal medicine, and is usually used by clinicians in the emergency room setting. POCUS technology is both efficient in its diagnostic accuracy as well as its transportability.
In the 1990s family physicians started using POTUS for obstetrical care in the U.S. Then, in the late 1990s, emergency physicians took up the practice of using POTUS in the emergency department for Trauma.
Point-of-care ultrasounds are not limited to emergency care, however. It is an effective practice in the ICU to monitor therapy, to detect severe pathological findings as well as look for free fluids in the abdomen and thorax.
Additionally, in the past ten years, POCUS has been a reliable source for assessing detrimentally ill patients. According to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) a report saw increased safety during pleural procedures.
POCUS has only grown in its popularity in recent years. It used to be a rarity in the field of clinical care. However, due to patient satisfaction rates, POCUS has seen a rise in popularity.
When is POCUS Used?
- Resuscitation: POCUS has the ability to reverse pericardial tamponade. It’s used in the pauses to check the pulse and rhythm of a patient.
- Diagnostics: POCUS can be used to quickly diagnose and respond to a patient that is in a state of traumatic cardiac arrest
- Symptoms: If a patient is showing signs of breathlessness, or are exhibiting symptoms of pain in acute locations, POCUS can be used to further understand these symptoms.
Role of POCUS in Tandem with COVID-19
According to thebutterflynetwork.com, POCUS is an effective tool in helping with complications related to COVID-19.
Listed below are different departments that can benefit from the use of POCUS.
- Emergency Medicine: POCUS limits medical staffs’ reliance on CT scans and uses POCUS to build a strategy for treatment while also adhering to isolation mandates.
- Primary care: Since POCUS is a handheld ultrasound system, it helps decrease the need for transporting patients to medical centers like hospitals.
- Critical care: For patients in the ICU due to complications from COVID-19, POCUS can be beneficial because of its ability to be handled at the bedside of a patient
Patients who have a symptom of chest pain may benefit from POCUS because of its heightened diagnostic specificity.
Benefits of POCUS
Point-of-Care ultrasounds are continuing to expand in their usage and technology. Listed below are some notable benefits of utilizing POCUS technology.
- Improvement in diagnostic accuracy
- Quicker diagnoses
- Prime safety for patients
- A decrease in patient complications
The innovation of this ultrasound technology has allowed for scans to be carried out more simply and quickly.
Additionally, improvement in image quality has helped with POCUS results and diagnostics.
How to Use Point-of-Care Ultrasounds
To effectively put POCUS to use, the person operating the ultrasound system must be confident in their diagnostic abilities. They will have to ascertain the smallest traces of the disease.
In order to detect these nuances, a POCUS operator needs to be sufficiently and expertly trained, as a lack of knowledge on how to use the device could lead to a faulty reading and. diagnosis.
POCUS is also used as a procedural guide, helping with fewer complications in certain operations.
POCUS Education Benefits
Many doctors and physicians are advocating for formal education and training in operating Point-of-Care ultrasounds.
Many POCUS certificates are used to validate expertise in using the equipment in a medical capacity. Getting training and certified helps show commitment to patients’ safety and their care.
Additionally, if you obtain certification in POCUS, it gives you a competitive edge and enhances your professional brand for potential future employment.
Setting a standard for operating Point-of-Care ultrasounds also sets a precedent for the enhancement of global health standards.
Those who chose to get certified in Point-of-Care ultrasound technologies have to meet quality standards. Often times, pursuing an educational endeavor in POCUS also ensures you in obtaining a POCUS Fundamentals Certificate.
How to Study POCUS
There are a few ways to be educated on the ins and outs of Point-of-Care ultrasounds. Some people opt to become certified through online, in-person, or hybrid courses.
Here are a few of the tactics to standardizing and professionalizing POCUS care:
- Hands-on Learning
- Split in-person and virtual
- Case Studies
POCUS ultrasound courses are available to aid you to begin your medical professional journey.
The following information should help as a potential career guide to helping you decide if you want to become a Point-of-Care ultrasound technician.
Since Point-of-Care Ultrasounds are a somewhat new and compelling field, those who choose to get training now are ahead of the game. Taking courses in POCUS will help with ultrasound knowledge and general proficiency.
If you’re interested in learning more about POCUS courses and certification, please visit us at https://gcus.com/cme/point-of-care-pocus-ultrasound and get started on your journey, today.