Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine certification program
The Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) brings nationally benchmarked ultrasound education and training to Australia and New Zealand through its various educational programs. Here Tanya Carleton, ASUM Education Projects Manager, discusses some of the recent successful developments in the Certificate of Clinician Performed Ultrasound (CCPU) and Certificate for Allied Health Performed Ultrasound (CAHPU) Program including providing ultrasound education and training to Australia’s rural and remote midwives, the CCPU’s Neonatal Special Interest Group (SIG) and developments in the use of ultrasound simulators.
Bringing Nationally Benchmarked ultrasound Education and Training to Australia’s Red Heart: The Certificate of Allied Health Performed Ultrasound (CAHPU) Rural and Remote Midwives Education and Training
Of the Aboriginal population living in the Northern Territory, most residents live outside the cities of Darwin and Alice Springs in very remote, small and very scattered communities with large distances between them. These communities may not have resident midwives or GPs or if they do, these professionals may not be trained to perform ultrasound examinations. Healthcare services in these communities may only be accessible by air and wet season flooding makes airstrips unusable, leading to further isolation for women needing gynaecological and obstetric healthcare services. In cases where healthcare providers fly into remote communities they could be faced with the responsibility of providing not only obstetric and gynaecological care but having to provide a broader range of healthcare services covering many specialties. Lack of access to adequate equipment can mean that women may not be able to have an ultrasound examination early in their pregnancy. High rates of smoking as well as pre-existing medical conditions and socioeconomic disadvantages result in high-risk pregnancies being more prevalent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who experience higher rates of pre-term birth. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders also have the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality. For these reasons the healthcare setting in rural and remote communities has been described as that of a third or fourth world.
Training and retaining doctors and midwives is another challenge experienced in rural and remote communities. ASUM recognised this challenge and, through its outreach program, partnered with the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) and doctors Sujatha Thomas, Nayana Parange, Martha Finn, Russell Carter; sonographers Roger Weckert, Clare Whitehead, and Karen Shand as well as Amanda Grauze, simulator educator and Director, Medical Synergies, Western Australia. This group came together in late 2014 to teach a basic ultrasound training education and skills workshop to twenty rural and remote midwives in the Northern Territory. Participants were able to practise and develop their ultrasound scanning skills using simulators as well as pregnant patients. This workshop gave midwives the education and skills needed to apply their point of care ultrasound knowledge immediately within their communities. The team were able to teach the curriculum developed by ASUM for the Certificate of Allied Health Provided Ultrasound, Midwife specific units: Early Pregnancy Assessment and Monitoring the Fetus (2nd and 3rd trimester). This curriculum, combined with the hands-on training needs of rural and remote midwives, allows the delivery of nationally benchmarked education which will facilitate higher levels of care to the most needed parts of our nation. The next educational event of this kind will be held in Whyalla, South Australia, June 18th-19th, 2015. ASUM further supports the continual training and professional development of rural and remote midwives by offering administrative services and support. ASUM has an extensive networks of supervisors and assessors who perform various roles to support, guides and mentor candidates through the requirements of the CAHPU program which include recording ultrasound examinations in a logbook and submitting this logbook for assessment as well as performing three ultrasound examination skills assessments. These services help midwives and other candidates progress through their program and earn their ultrasound qualification, the Certificate of Allied Health Performed Ultrasound (CAHPU).
ASUM Special Interest Groups
Because ASUM represents all users of ultrasound they work with many different interest groups, including Neonatal specialists throughout Australia and New Zealand. The ASUM Neonatal Special Interest Group (SIG) began in 2008 as a subcommittee of the CCPU Board. The Neonatal SIG’s mission is to spread nationally benchmarked ultrasound education and training that is specific to neonatology throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The SIG ensures that the high quality and standard of excellence is maintained in the program through meetings to discuss features of the program, and quality standards, review guidelines and make any changes or updates.
[caption id="attachment_12840" align="alignright" width="165"] Eliza Welch is ASUM
CCPU and CAHPU
Neonatal ultrasound qualifications are available through ASUM via the CCPU for doctors and now also to neonatal nurse practitioners through the CAHPU qualification. Both qualifications include a comprehensively structured program of introduction and advanced neonatal ultrasound education and clinical skills training. Features of the training include small group sizes limited to twenty participants a well as the inclusion of local cardiologists to add their expertise to the training. Participants also gain experience on ultrasound simulators before scanning infants in these programs.
The ASUM Neonatal SIG has been recognised as a world leader in establishing specialty specific ultrasound training throughout their profession and ASUM is enthusiastic about using this example to create more SIGs to serve other users of ultrasound including but not limited to: nurses, midwives, paramedics, rheumatologists, podiatrists, physiotherapists and others.
Safe Practice of Ultrasound and the Growing Use of Simulators
[caption id="attachment_12842" align="alignright" width="189"] Tanya Carleton, M Ed, Dipl
TCM, B.Sc, is ASUM
Education Project Manager[/caption]
As the Peak Body for ultrasound in Australia and New Zealand, ASUM is working with providers of ultrasound simulators. Ultrasound simulators are becoming more and more sophisticated and are currently used in a wide variety of areas. They include procedural simulators such as vascular access and pleural aspiration phantoms and non-procedural simulators such as those used in obstetrics and gynecology, trans-oesophageal echo, and trans-thoracic echo. As more sophisticated simulators become available for use ASUM recognises the value that these tools can play in the training of ultrasound trainees. Simulators offer trainees who have not had any scanning experience the ability to practice their basic skills on a model before ever performing an ultrasound examination on a patient. The Neonatal SIG has found this training tool to be incredibly effective for trainees who have no scanning experience, noting that trainees, when they have witness in overseas meetings, demonstrate much better scanning skills when they do eventually begin scanning patients. This is highly valued in neonatal applications where doctors and neonatal nurses are working with infants who move and wriggle and are sometimes not available to perform an ultrasound examination on. Simulators are part of the future of ultrasound training here in Australia and members of the ASUM CCPU Neonatal SIG are actively involved in developing and introducing simulators for neonatal application in Australia.
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