Society of Point of Care Ultrasound


Professor Laura Blesse-Hampton, after participating in the Train the Trainer program created this workshop for the students at Baldwin Wallace PA Program.


The Train the Trainer Program

For those faculty members who have no ultrasound experience, SPOCUS offers a free TtT program, where faculty (The Faculty Trainee or FT) are paired with experienced mentors and remotely taught ultrasound applications.  Once enrolled into this self-paced program, the faculty member and mentor will choose the applications they would like to learn.  The faculty member will be provided with a free eBook and with didactic instruction in the form of 15-20 minute FOAMed videos on the applications.  Once or twice a month FT will meet with their SPOCUS mentor to discuss pathology, review ultrasound images and consider pitfalls and pearls, as well as review the learners scanning technique.  Testimony on the experience of a participating faulty member in the Train the Trainer Program

The purpose of the TtT Program is not to make expert scanners, but to expose faculty to the benefits of clinical ultrasound in a private, safe, and non-judgmental learning environment.  The learners advance through the ultrasound applications at their own pace in an asynchronous classroom, and can develop a sense of "knowing what they don't know."  Having this knowledge is vital for faculty leadership to understand how best to customize the ultrasound presence in their program, and personalize the learning for their own students.

Participants must have access to an ultrasound machine or they can lease a unit on a month to month basis for about $398 per month.  The machine may also be found in the Emergency department, the medical school, sonography tech program or the simulation lab.

The Train the Trainer is a self paced clinical ultrasound education program designed for PA/NP/UME faculty.  The purpose is to familiarize Faculty Trainee with applications in clinical ultrasound, so that the Faculty member can decide how best to implement ultrasound into the curriculum of their PA/Medical school/NP program.  

The Trainee will be assigned a primary mentor.  SPOCUS mentors are sonographers that are fellowship trained, certified and/or have experience teaching clinical ultrasound.  The didactic education will be sent to the Faculty trainee via web based FOAMed video content on a monthly basis.  The Faculty member will receive a free text eBook and open access medical literature to augment the education.  The faculty learners will need access to an ultrasound machine with a linear and low frequency probe, or lease a system like Philips Lumify ($200 per probe, per month and plug into a windows based tablet.)  If you have access to an ultrasound machine there is no other durable equipment requirement.

Once or twice per month the faculty learners and SPOCUS mentor will meet via video conferencing for an hour session to answer questions, discuss pathology, reinforce topics and evaluate technique. The program is intended to be extremely flexible to work with the schedule of the learner, and program lasts as long Faculty member desires the education and is a member of SPOCUS. The time commitment is roughly 3-4 hours per application.  The learner decides how many ultrasound applications they would like to learn a month. (As a reference most start with learning 1 ultrasound application per month )  and they FT can track their progress by downloading the Hangout Progress Tracker.xlsx and sending it on to the next Hangout mentor.

An Example of the Train the Trainer Monthly Evolution

The following is an example to illustrate the process.  The Faculty Trainee signs up for the TtT Program on 6/1/16 and receives the initial briefing, text book and  password and is assigned a mentor.  The next day the Trainee receives an email from the mentor with the first lecture, in this case the FAST exam.  

The Trainee watches the videos, reads the book chapter as well as the most recent studies sent by the mentor, and practices what was learned on the ultrasound machine available in the Emergency Room where the Faculty Trainee works clinically.  This take approximately 10 days, 6/12/16.  The faculty member then emails the mentor and they decide they are going to meet on 6/25/16 to have their first Hangout session.  Prior to the Hangout session, the mentor will send the Faculty Trainee a link to access their video meeting. The FT may email the mentor a list of questions, this allows the mentor the opportunity to gather some images, literature and best answer the questions that the FT is struggling with.    

On 6/25/16 the Hangout meeting lasts an hour, and they discuss what the FT learned, pearls, pitfalls, pathology, and at the very end decide the next application to be studied, in this case echocardiography, starting 7/1/16  The process then starts all over again with the mentor sending the FT links to the video content, book chapters and relevant material to prepare for the echocardiography evolution.  The mentor may also send the FT some more studies that were relevant to the topic the Trainee studied or asked about in the last hangout.

┬ęSPOCUS is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization  •  P.O. Box 90434  •  San Antonio  •  TX • 78209

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