ultrasound tech with 2 students and patient

In May, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene hosted an inaugural Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) workshop for 43 Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students and primary care advanced practice providers from the Waiʻanae Coast Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Residency Program and several community providers. The goal of the free event was to provide education on the use of ultrasound in patient care in the community provider office setting.

The all-day workshop provided participants with multiple lecture sessions accompanied by hands-on skills stations to bridge concept and implementation.

POCUS has been a mainstay in outpatient settings including cardiology, radiology and obstetrics/gynecology for decades. With increases in portability and affordability of bedside ultrasound machines, there has been a widespread adoption of ultrasound in ambulatory primary care.

Increasing access to patient care

nursing students conducting ultrasound on patient

“Nurse practitioners (NP) provide excellent holistic patient care. By providing our students, faculty and community members with introductory POCUS education, we prepare NP’s to use ultrasound in their workplaces thereby increasing access to care for patients,” said Rick Ramirez, DNP program director. “Nurse practitioners can be at the forefront of using ultrasound at the patient’s bedside. Bedside ultrasound may decrease time to diagnosis, rule out disease or injury and increase patient satisfaction. POCUS is the future of primary care medicine and it was important for us to train our students and community providers in this advancing technology.”

“Having workshops like the ultrasound course provides incredibly valuable training for future advanced practice providers in the state of Hawaiʻi,” said Rachel Graham, a DNP nursing student residing in Maui. “For those of us on neighbor islands, being able to independently use diagnostic imaging will assist us in helping our local population even though we may have limited resources.”

UH Mānoa Nursing plans to offer this innovative workshop annually. In addition to educating students, the school is committed to providing continuing education opportunities for practice partners. Bringing students and clinicians together to learn creates a valuable experience that contributes to the safe delivery of quality patient care.

“The workshop was thorough and provided real-world recommendations for use with a best-practice focus,” said Christina M.B. Wang, medical director with the Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center and an alumna of UH Mānoa’s nurse practitioner program. “I am committed to always learning more to better my practice. This workshop taught me new skills so I can bring new technology and skills to my patients to aid in their treatment.”

For more information, contact Ramirez at rjr64@hawaii.edu.

This event is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.