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Advanced practice provider, critical care, education, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, ultrasound



  1. Santos, Christan D. MSN, FNP-BC
  2. Rose, Mariah Q. MSN, NP-C
  3. Tomlinson, Amanda D. MSN, ACNPC-AG
  4. McLaughlin, Diane C. DNP, AGACNP-BC, CCRN


Background and purpose: Formal training for ultrasound use is essential for critical care providers. Despite a national increase in the utilization of advanced practice providers in critical care, ultrasound education is not routinely provided in their training programs. This study describes and evaluates a 1-day advanced care provider (APP)-led course designed to provide fellow APPs with the skills to obtain and evaluate basic ultrasound images.


Methods: A 15-question pretest was administered via anonymous use of a clicker response system. Participants had didactic lectures followed by hands-on experience with live models and instructor. Posttest was administered after achievement of basic ultrasound views. Postcourse evaluations were also administered.


Conclusions: Pretest and posttest questions included identifying anatomy, pathology, quantifying cardiac function, and clinical decision making. Scores improved from 58% on the pretest to 78% on the posttest. All participants acknowledged the need for the course and their ability to transfer the course into practice.


Implications for practice: This course established that APPs can both teach and learn from their peers in a formal setting. In addition, this course demonstrated that an APP-led course with a combined hands-on and didactic approach is an effective method for critical care ultrasound skills acquisition in ultrasound-novice APPs.