University Of Tasmania

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Comparison of learning outcomes for teaching focused cardiac ultrasound to physicians: a supervised human model course versus an eLearning guided self- directed simulator course

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 04:00 authored by Canty, D, Barth, J, Yang, Y, Peters, N, Andrew PalmerAndrew Palmer, Royse, A, Royse, C
Purpose: Focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU) training in critical care is restricted by availability of instructors. Supervised training may be substituted by self-directed learning with an ultrasound simulator guided by automated electronic learning, enabling scalability.

Materials and Methods: We prospectively compared learning outcomes in novice critical care physicians after completion of a supervised one-and-a-half-day workshop model with a self-guided course utilizing a simulator over four weeks. Both groups had identical pre-workshop on-line learning (20h). Image quality scores were compared using FCU performed on humans without pathology. Interpretive knowledge was compared using 20MCQ tests.

Results: Of 161 eligible, 145 participants consented. Total Image quality scores were higher in the Simulator group (95.2% vs. 66.0%, P < .001) and also higher for each view (all P < .001). Interpretive knowledge was not different before (78.6% vs. 79.0%) and after practical training (74.7% vs. 76.1%) and at 3 months (81.0% vs. 77.0%, all P > .1). Including purchase of the simulator and ultrasound equipment, the simulator course required lower direct costs (AUD$796 vs. $1724 per participant) and instructor time (0.5 vs.1.5 days) but similar participant time (2.8 vs. 3.0 days).

Conclusions: Self-directed learning with ultrasound simulators may be a scalable alternative to conventional supervised teaching with human models.


Publication title

Journal of Critical Care








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


W B Saunders Co

Place of publication

Independence Square West Curtis Center, Ste 300, Philadelphia, USA, Pa, 19106-3399

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion

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