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Cardiac Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Curriculum Development

Ryan MacCracken, RN, DNP, CRNA

DNP Nurse Anesthesia

Cardiac Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Curriculum Development

Project Category:  

Project Team: Ryan MacCracken, DNP, CRNA Wali Khan, DNP, CRNA Franklin McShane, DNP, CRNA (Advisor)


Background: The aim of this project was to develop a curriculum for transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography and develop strategies for future assessment of the efficacy of the curriculum to transfer functional knowledge of cardiac point of care ultrasound (POCUS) to student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs). The completed implementation of the curriculum will improve clinical assessment capabilities and increase market competitiveness of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) that graduate from Rosalind Franklin University. 

Methods: In a pilot test of the curriculum, 37 junior nurse anesthesia students were given an introductory lecture on transthoracic echocardiography and taught to obtain the parasternal long axis, parasternal short axis, apical four chamber, and subcostal inferior vena cava views. The students were also given a post-implementation survey to determine the quality of the disseminated curriculum. 

Results: Of the 37 students who actively participated in the workshop, 26 students (70%) responded to the survey. Twenty-four students (94%) felt that cardiac and lung POCUS would not only improve their educational experience, but also serve to advance their clinical practice as future anesthesia providers. Of those who responded to the inquiry, 16 respondents (62%) felt that the cardiac POCUS curriculum should be instituted into the Principles of Anesthesia III course series as it was deemed most advantageous immediately prior to clinical immersion. 

Conclusion: Results of the survey demonstrated a positive correlation between the curriculum and student comfort with the POCUS content. The results also suggested a majority of students felt the content would be directly applicable to their future career. This workshop served as the foundation for future educational development and honing of cardiac POCUS knowledge.

Full Manuscript Slide Presentation Video