PA program hosts NC Academy of Physician Assistants Ultrasound Workshop

Ultrasound workshop

PA students from across the state recently gathered at Campbell in the Tracey F. Smith Hall of Nursing and Health Sciences to hone their skills and to learn more about ultrasound techniques through didactic and hands-on sessions.

“Our PA program collaborated with the NCAPA to host the workshop in our state-of-the-art facility where we were able to provide an overview of broadly useful exams, including Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST), basic cardiac and abdominal aorta scanning,” said Dr. Pete Fenn, director of Programmatic and Professional Development and associate professor of Physician Assistant Practice. “Attendees had didactic instruction on the fundamentals of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), followed by small-group, hands-on sessions with live models and high-fidelity ultrasound simulators.”

Justin Gambini, assistant professor of Physician Assistant Practice, shared about the day. The objective of our workshop was to introduce ultrasonography to PAs in varied stages of training to increase their knowledge of cardiac and abdominal ultrasonography. The goal was to help these providers with day to day clinical decision-making and to help reduce delays in care and treatment.

“As a PA who has practiced emergency and critical care medicine for many years, I believe the more widespread we can make competency in POCUS the more added benefit to reducing the burden on radiology or emergency departments, particularly those associated with expensive emergent exams, freeing up resources and improving access to care, which is greatly needed nationwide.”

Gambini went on to explain more about point-of-care ultrasound. “As POCUS is expanding across all medical specialties, the benefits of ultrasound technology are becoming more apparent. Not only can POCUS complement the history and physical exam, providing more detail to inform clinical decisions, but recent studies have indicated that POCUS is an effective tool that can reduce costs of advanced imaging, improve patient care and patient safety, and increase face-to-face interactions between provider and patient, thus increasing patient satisfaction.”