Updates from the intro course!

Emily Douglass has been a HUGE asset to PURE over the past year or so, and we’re lucky to have her on the ground in Rwanda for these next couple weeks.  She is documenting her impressions of the intro course here

Monday September 3, 2012 – PURE Training Day 1

The PURE training team arrived to CHUK early Monday morning, to set up the lecture room in the Research Building that will serve as the PURE teaching headquarters for the length of the initial 2 week intensive training course. Six high quality ultrasound machines, generously donated for use by PURE for the duration of the training course, will be set up and used for hands-on education and practice throughout the training. The machines include 5 compact portable Mindrays; two DP-10, and three DP-50s, along with 5 curvilinear transducers, and 2 linear transducers provided by AfriChem. One non-portable Phillips machine was also provided for teaching, which has a curvilinear, linear, intracavitary and also a cardiac probe. The machines are brand new, in great condition, and their portability is excellent for the means of this course.

At 9 am the trainees arrived, and after coffee and after an introduction by Dr. Stephen Rulisa, head of research at CHUK, Dr. Henwood began by welcoming the physicians to the course and introducing the team of PURE trainers, Dr. Megan Leo, Dr. Josh Rempell, Dr. Raja Rao, Dr. David Mackenzie, and Dr. Sam Vallincourt, as well as the other members of the team involved in the program development: Dr. Damas Dukundane, Emily Douglass, and Benjamin Kabagambe.  After Dr. Henwood’s introduction to the course and the schedule for the program in entirety, the physicians completed a two part baseline assessment, beginning with a questionnaire to assess their current level of experience with ultrasound prior to the training, as well as in what areas of training they have specific interest. The second part of the baseline assessment was a pre-training image based assessment, during which the trainees were shown a series of image based questions and asked to choose the answer based on their previous knowledge of the use of ultrasound.

After the baseline assessment, Dr. Rempell began the teaching with a lecture on Introduction to Point-of-Care Ultrasound, speaking a bit about Ultrasound use in emergency medicine and the role of bedside ultrasound in clinical practice. When asked about their prior training and ultrasound experience, the physicians indicated that they had received some training in medical school, and many of the physicians stated that they did currently use some applications of ultrasound in their practice. However, the trainees indicated a strong desire for more formal training in multiple applications. Dr. Rempell spoke about the importance of recognizing the strengths and limitations of POC ultrasound.

The next didactic session was given by our interventional radiologist, Dr. Raja Rao. He gave a great lecture on the physics and instrumentation of ultrasound. After a short lunch break, the application specific training kicked off with Dr. Rempell’s lecture on FAST protocol (Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma), which seeks to assess for the presence of abnormal collections of fluid within the abdomen.  After the FAST didactic session, the trainees were put into small groups at practice stations each led by a trainer. The trainees then spent the remainder of the day practicing the FAST applications and getting comfortable with the machines and scanning techniques. The trainees showed excellent initiative and interest in learning and practicing the applications taught, and at the conclusion of the first day of the course the PURE team was impressed, and looking forward to continuing to work with such a capable and enthusiastic group of physicians.