Maximising Interdisciplinary POCUS skills in Obstetric Sonography

Mrs Caterina Watson1,2,3,4

1Ramsay Healthcare, Joondalup Health Campus, Joondalup, Australia, 2Australian Sonographers Association, Melbourne, Australia, 3Australian Society of ultrasound in medicine, Chatswood, Australia, 4Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia

Background: Ultrasound is used by numerous allied professional groups : sonographers, physicians, nurses, and veterinarians. In pregnancy, it is important to standardise the application of sonography. Care taken to perform a quality scan will minimise adverse outcomes for both baby and mother.  It is a difficult task to maintain quality scanning between professions because interprofessional ultrasound regulation is absent.  Sonographers are registered and regulated by Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR).   By default, sonographers become the custodians to promote scanning standards and to train interprofessional ultrasound students.

Aim: To promote the culture of life-long upskilling in ultrasound for allied health professionals engaged in obstetric sonography.

Methods: A practical approach is outlined to seed and maintain the practice of quality obstetric scanning with allied professionals.  This is illustrated through the case study of a POCUS (point of care in ultrasound scanning) training project.  Three volunteer midwives progress through a weeks’ training in POCUS for obstetrics.  Upskilling activities include:

  • Pre-course material as guided by ISUOG.
  • Educational lectures.
  • Outreach videos to promote discussion of midwives working in remote regions.
  • Hands-on scanning workshops.
  • Post course assessment and upskilling maintenance.

Outcomes:  Three volunteer midwives travel to Tanzania to upskill local nurses and midwives.  Recognising suboptimal scanning is integral to achieve the goals of improved obstetric outcomes in rural and remote regions. Resources are listed to assist these goals. Roadmaps are indicated for encouragement to reflect on continuous assessment, and standardise obstetric scanning practices with allied health professionals.


Biography:

Caterina originally trained in diagnostic radiography (Derby, England) before specialising in Obstetric and Gynaecology ultrasound. She enjoys volunteering for ultrasound outreach projects.  She has been an ISUOG representative for point of care ultrasound (POCUS) training in Fiji and PNG. Due to ongoing travel restrictions, alternative approaches are needed to continue outreach work in 2021.  The ultrasound unit is working to deliver obstetric POCUS training locally with three volunteer midwives.

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