Emergency Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certificate


Suitable for: SHOs and registrars in emergency medicine, all surgical specialities, general and acute medicine; critical care clinicians

This three-day programme is a joint collaboration between the RCSI Continuous Professional Development Support Scheme and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital's POCUS team at The Pillar Centre. The programme provides a practical hands-on overview of the skills required for the application of ultrasound in the acute setting.

The role of point of care ultrasound (POCUS) – an ultrasonography performed and assessed by the clinician at the bedside – as an extension of the clinical examination in the acute assessment of trauma, as well undifferentiated shock in medical and surgical patients, has been rapidly evolving in Ireland.

As ultrasound equipment continues to become more compact, higher quality and less expensive, increasing numbers of emergency departments and hospitals now have access to POCUS. However, they are limited in their appropriate usage due to a lack of knowledge and familiarity.

The ability to use real time dynamic images obtained immediately allows findings to be directly correlated by a clinician with a patient's presenting symptoms and signs, and is easily repeated as these may change. It has been adopted for usage by various specialties, and its applications can be broadly divided into: procedural, diagnostic and screening.

Delivery and design

This blended learning programme is a skills-based practical course delivered over three days in The Pillar Centre for Transformative Healthcare by emergency physicians with international reputations and experience in the teaching point of care ultrasound. A 1–2 hour online pre-course is completed prior to attending each day.

Day 1: Extended Focused Assessment of the Sonography Examination of the Trauma Patient (eFAST) – 14 October 2021

Providing you with an introduction to the knowledge and skills required for the safe application of ultrasound in the abdominal and thorax in trauma. Using an established and clear protocol based on skills, eFAST performed appropriately has high sensitivity for the detection of intraperitoneal and intrathoracic free fluid.

Day 2: Thoracic Ultrasound in the ED – 11 November 2021

Introducing you to the principles, tools and skills required for the safe application of ultrasound in patients with respiratory and cardiac failure. Protocol-based strategies with high sensitivity for assessment of pneumothorax, pneumonia, pleural effusion, interstitial oedema and thrombosis are demonstrated and applied.

Day 3: Procedural Ultrasound in the ED – 9 December 2021

Introducing you to the key skills required to optimise the safety and first time successful performance of routine emergency procedures by the incorporation of POCUS. From central line placement to regional nerve block, foreign body identification to pericardiocentesis, the use of POCUS has become best practice standard of care.