October 21, 2014
This past March three PURE trainers (http://www.pureultrasound.org/) traveled to Rwanda to teach point of care ultrasound to 15 internal medicine resident trainees as well as 11 general practitioners working in the emergency department at the country’s main government teaching and referral hospital. The teaching took place at the Centre Hospitalier Universitarie de Kigali (CHUK) Simulation Center, and on the wards of CHUK. The trainees were highly motivated and eager to learn how to use the many new SonoSite machines recently purchased by the Ministry of Health for use in their hospitals. The PURE training group lectured on ultrasound physics, cardiac ultrasound, DVT evaluation, and abdominal ultrasound (focusing on the FAST exam, with a brief overview of biliary, renal/bladder). Supervised practical sessions were done in the CHUK Skills Center and then in the wards to enhance scanning techniques and image interpretation. This resource-limited environment sees a very high level of acuity and trainees find ultrasound quite useful to help answer clinical questions and guide procedures. They report CT imaging availability is often limited, and not available at all outside of two main cities, so point-of-care ultrasound availability and training is often life-saving for their patients. The PURE team will be returning with another group of five North American-based physician ultrasound trainers, who in conjunction with Rwandan PURE trainers, will put on introductory courses for physician trainees in emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery and anesthesia/critical care as well as a cohort of senior medical students. This large introductory course took place during the first two weeks of September with both didactic and practical sessions with the many resident SonoSite ultrasound machines at CHUK. Continuous on-site PURE trainer follow-up and small group training sessions are planned through November when a train-the-trainer course will take place.