J Physician Assist Educ. 2023 Sep 6. doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000533. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) inclusion in medical education is increasing, and understanding of clinical educators' perceptions and use patterns is needed. The purpose of this research project was to explore current use, interest, knowledge, perceptions, and readiness to teach POCUS from the perspectives of clinical preceptors for physician assistant (PA) students.
METHODS: A survey research study was completed on previously identified preceptors. Descriptive statistics outlined the frequencies of responses. Bivariate analysis with Chi-Square or Fischer Exact Testing was used to identify statistically significant differences between groupings.
RESULTS: Most preceptors (87.1%) believe POCUS adds clinical value, but a minority received POCUS training (37%), are familiarity with its use (37.4%), and currently use POCUS (23.4%). Two-thirds (66.1%) of preceptors stated they would allow PA students to practice POCUS skills on clinical rotation; however, few (31%) felt comfortable with this and even fewer (22.6%) felt comfortable findings on POCUS into their clinical decision making.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite support of incorporation of POCUS into PA education, clinical preceptors' readiness to teach POCUS on clinical rotations is limited. This study shows that preceptors are neither comfortable with student use nor incorporating student findings into clinical decision making. A lack of sufficient clinical preceptors to support POCUS education has not been previously reported. PA programs attempting to incorporate POCUS into their curricula will need to be intentional providing opportunities to continue POCUS on clinical rotations.