Objective To describe the credentialing systems of North American emergency department systems (EDS) with emergency ultrasound (EUS) fellowship programmes.
Methods This is a prospective, cross-sectional, survey-based study of North American EUS fellowships using a 62-item, pilot-tested, web-based survey instrument assessing credentialing and training systems. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) distributed the surveys using SNAP survey (Snap Surveys Ltd, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA).
Results Over 6 months, 75 eligible programmes were surveyed, 55 responded (73% response rate); 1 declined to participate leaving 54 participating programmes. Less than 20% of EDS credential nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and students in EUS. Respondent EDS reported having an average of 4.2±3.3 ultrasound faculty members (faculty identifying their career focus as EUS). The median number of annual point-of-care ultrasounds reported was 5000 (IQR 3000–8000). 30 EDS (56%) credential each examination individually and 48 EDS (89%) use ACEP credentialing criteria. 61% of fellowship leadership believe their credentialing system is either satisfactory or very satisfactory (Cronbach's coefficient α=0.84).
Conclusions The data show heterogeneity among North American EDS with EUS fellowship programmes with regard to credentialing systems despite published guidelines from the ACEP and Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society.
- imaging, ultrasound
- emergency department management
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