The State of Point of Care Ultrasound Certification in South Africa. Why are so Few Providers Completing the Certification Process

Lemke, Franz Gustav (2014-12)

Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is widely used in clinical practice. Although relatively new to South Africa, the POCUS introductory course received wide interest with many clinicians attending. However, many clinicians are failing to complete the requirements to become certified POCUS providers. The study’s aim was to identify the outcomes of clinicians entering the training program via the introductory course and the obstacles they faced in achieving POCUS provider certification. Methods: The Cape Town faculty kept an electronic database of all clinicians who attended their introductory course since inception in 2007. After mining the database, an electronic cross sectional survey was emailed to all clinicians who attended the introductory POCUS courses in Cape Town. This group represents more than half of the national total. The questionnaire polled clinicians regarding obstacles faced in their effort to obtain certification. Outcomes were compared between the certified and noncertified groups. Results: A total of 90 out of 218 (41, 3 %) course attendees completed the questionnaire of which 23/43 (53%) represented the certified group and 63/175 (36 %) the non-certified group. Four incomplete surveys were excluded (n = 86). The most common obstacle identified by the certified group, 15/23 (62.5 %), was scarcity of pathology (positive scan findings) resulting in difficulty gathering prerequisite scans. Time constraints were identified as both the most common 49/63 (77.8 %) and the top rated obstacle 27/63 (42.9 %) by the non-certified group and the top obstacle by the certified group, 9/23 (39.1 %). Of the non-certified respondents, 44 (69.8 %) still aim to complete the certification process. However, 33/63 (52.4 %) of non-certified providers utilise POCUS more than three times a week in their clinical practice. Conclusion: The majority of non-certified clinicians wish to complete the certification process. Both groups identified time constraints and limited access to scans with pathology as their largest obstacles.

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