Purpose: The primary purpose of this article is to provide an overview of methods learned to improve current point-of-care ultrasound curriculum in PA programs, especially given recent necessary COVID-19 mitigation strategies, which have caused a loss of, or at least significant decrease in, face-to-face content point of care ultrasound (POCUS) delivery, due to forced asynchronous learning. A secondary focus of this article is to promote the addition of ultrasound curriculum into PA programs that currently have none.
Method: A PubMed, EBSCO, GALE, and ProQuest Education literature search was conducted with the following search terms: point of care ultrasound (POCUS), disparity in PA education, virtual education, COVID-19 mitigation strategies to combat loss of face-to-face educational content delivery. Thirteen pertinent articles were retrieved and will serve as the basis for this piece.
Results: Currently, minimal research exists regarding both the promotion of ultrasound education in PA programs and the integration of ultrasound education into current virtual curricula.
Conclusion: Implementing virtual curriculum should focus on appropriate COVID-19 mitigation strategies, handouts, and anticipating students’ educational needs in advance of lecture delivery. This multi-faceted delivery mechanism helps enhance the student experience by providing a more in-depth approach to the POCUS skill set. Coincidentally, the learners can focus on ultrasound imaging while applying and practicing complex spatial analytical skills under the direct supervision of a trained faculty member, thus allowing for better retention of the information. This hybrid delivery approach allows for leadership development, alumni outreach, and unique faculty advising while enhancing spatial recognition and critical thinking skills.
Keywords: point of care ultrasound (POCUS) curriculum, physician assistant (PA) education, disproportion in PA education, virtual instruction, COVID-19 mitigation strategies loss of face-to-face content delivery.
Gambini JM. Implementing Point of Care Ultrasound into Virtual Physician Assistant Education. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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