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A Milestone of a Year

We all do it. The eleventh month of the year arrives, and we can’t help but look back at the last forty or so weeks. We assess each day, determining if we loved enough, laughed enough, accomplished enough, and did everything we set out to do.

After this examination, we can come to this moment filled with regret or decide that we have tackled our plans with the best intent and effort. Here’s the issue in deciding which road to take. We approach this crossroads as if we had complete control over every event hidden within the 365 days passed. Let’s agree on one thing here. No matter how well prepared and organized we are, the mysteries of our tomorrows will always force us to modify our best intentions. So, instead of using our plans to determine wins or losses, maybe we can decide from day one that when those 52 weeks have gone by, a celebration is in order no matter what.

Here at the Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy™ (PCA), we have decided to begin the festivities early! It’s been a year like no other, and it has challenged us all in so many ways. We each deserve a round of applause. Go ahead, give yourself one. When you’re finished, please join us in celebrating a few successes of our own.

It’s no secret that point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is our passion and works mission. The occurrences of 2020 have placed an enormous spotlight on this modality. The critical role that POCUS has and continues to play during the COVID-19 pandemic is telling in itself. As the device is used to monitor and triage complications associated with the virus, the world of medicine has come to appreciate its lifesaving impacts the way we do.

Amid this realization, PCA has worked to expand access to POCUS resources. A visit to a newly designed pocus.org ensures that you directly encounter the tools and resources needed to empower your POCUS educational growth. We have also modified our offerings to include renewal of AMA credits, as well as provide AAPA credits with the POCUS Fundamentals Certificate. As POCUS’s adoption continues to grow globally, we want to create medical providers with a seamless path towards POCUS expertise.

The current pandemic has emphasized the usage of POCUS across medical disciplines. A trend we have monitored over the recent years, which compelled us to launch POCUS25 in 2019. This psychometrically validated list of POCUS domains has grown in traction. We have seen the participation of those sharing their POCUS expertise and providing input on vital POCUS practices increase. Represented are over 50 countries currently helping us shape the future of POCUS teaching, training, and credentialing.

In turn, we are working diligently to make certification more plausible. PCA continues to bridge the POCUS training gaps through programs and partnerships that efficiently allow our medical community to obtain POCUS certification. One method deployed is the development of our Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education Provider (PEP) program. The PEP program is a pathway for learners who want to become certified and competent in POCUS. To make POCUS education more straightforward and more readily accessible, course programs and e-learning resources provide productive training in concerned fields and POCUS usage.

Additionally, we have partnered with Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute and 123sonography to provide certification candidates with educational support before taking our clinical assessments. These bundles allow healthcare professionals seeking to earn a POCUS certification the opportunity to engage in review courses and participate in our assessments at a reduced cost. Our medical community can validate their knowledge and identify growth areas through these partnerships.

A POCUS certification not only assists in proving your expertise to yourself but puts your knowledge on display community-wide. In 2020, we have seen more of you take advantage of joining a community of like-minded individuals who recognize the big-picture benefits attached to certification. This year alone 60% growth occurred among medical professionals who earned a POCUS certification. As the spotlight on POCUS becomes brighter, we will continue to see this certified community grow, dedicated to staying up to date with the innovations altering the world’s perception of health and medicine.

Yes, we said the world. PCA was still able to have a global impact in 2020. Though physical distance is in order, we continued to cross borders. We have been gracious to have several podcast guests and webinar hosts share with our PCA community. Dr. Xi Liu from Beijing, China, led a webinar on pulmonary and cardiac use of POCUS in COVID-19 patients. Dr. Yale Tung Chen from Spain contracted the virus and walked us through his self-care POCUS journey.

We also “traveled” with our MissionPOCUS initiative. It led to a tremendous opportunity to work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders. Together, we established a pilot program to evaluate the possibility of integrating POCUS certification into MSF’s POCUS education and training processes. The goal is to develop a POCUS certification for resource-limited regions, advancing proficient POCUS usage worldwide.

Whew! What a year. We hope you enjoyed walking down PCA’s 2020 memory lane. Thank you to all who took part in creating these milestones with us.

Remember, no matter what 2020 brought you, look back, and be proud. Every thought out move may not have gone as planned, but movement still occurred. Now it’s your turn. Find the moments to celebrate before the clock strikes midnight.


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