Advance practice providers, education, E-FAST, point of care ultrasound, ultrasound



  1. Casey, Karen O. DNP, MSN, FNP-C, ENP-C
  2. Pearson, Tamera PhD, MSN, FNP, ACNP


Background: Developing and translating knowledge gained in the classroom into skills that are practiced in the clinical setting is an ongoing, iterative, and dynamic process. Health care clinicians require continually evolving knowledge, ongoing education, and hands-on skills practice particular to the specialty.


Purpose: This prospective observational study was conceived based on the existing evidence demonstrating that Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is not routinely taught in nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) graduate programs. This study examines outcomes of an educational intervention aimed at improving knowledge, self-confidence, and self-efficacy of the Extended Focused Assessment using Sonography in Trauma (E-FAST examination) for both NPs and PAs working in emergency settings.


Methodology: Twenty participants attended a short course including both didactic learning and hands-on learning of the E-FAST examination. Participants rated themselves using a self-assessment tool for pre- and postintervention self-evaluation. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to evaluate data. A second tool used to evaluate participants' hands-on use of the E-FAST examination is the Objective Structured Assessment of Ultrasound, in which participants were evaluated by clinical experts. These data were assessed using regression analysis.


Results: Participants showed improvement on the pre/post course self-assessment tool. Participants also showed proficiency using ultrasound and analyzing images as evaluated by experts.


Conclusions: A short multimodal course can improve clinicians' knowledge, confidence, and self-efficacy in the use of POCUS and the E-FAST examination.


Implications: Hands-on education is a valuable tool for ongoing learning.