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The Building Blocks of POCUS

Fundamentals are the building blocks of life. From our view, fundamentals are the bricks required to navigate point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). The word fundamental is defined as “a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.” Building blocks form a solid foundation for lasting structures to stand on. 

We agree. What you build your experience and knowledge on is essential, and that’s why we at the POCUS Certification Academy™ believe the POCUS Fundamentals Certificate is our must-take course. We encourage all POCUS users to take this to establish the building blocks of your sound expertise in POCUS practice. The Fundamentals Certificate is a firm ground for your POCUS education to build upon. 

As with any commitment, it’s always important to know what you will gain from it. Dedicating yourself to the POCUS Fundamentals Certificate course is a worthwhile professional investment. Here are a few reasons why:  

While physics may not be the most exciting curriculum connected to our work, the ability to explain the principles of ultrasound physics is imperative. In learning physics, we master how the ultrasound beam interacts with various tissues and structures within the body. Thorough knowledge of this subject will assist with understanding the nature of the lesion in the body. It’s also invaluable knowledge for troubleshooting inadequate image quality.

Before we dive into the complexities of the imaging process, knowing the primary operational principles of the technology is an obvious but important step to your foundation. 

Upon your successful completion of the course, you will know and list the different ultrasound machine modes. The commonly used POCUS modes are:

  • B-mode or 2D mode
  • M-mode
  • Color Doppler
  • Power Doppler
  • Spectral Doppler 

You will also be able to explain the different ultrasound machine settings. This knowledge is critical to obtaining an optimal image or video capture of a pathology.

Furthermore, the transducer is a key operating component that makes the magic of POCUS happen. To put it in layman’s terms, this is the probe of the device. There are many types of transducers available. The three common ones are low frequency curvilinear, linear high-frequency transducer, and a phased array low frequency. Our course spells out how to identify the various transducer types. 

You will also learn critical definitions to help you gain a deeper understanding of POCUS. For example, the Fundamentals course addresses the term echogenicity. 

Diagnostic ultrasound uses sound waves that are beyond the hearing range of the human ear. The images are created based on the reflected sound wave properties, known as echogenicity. These sound waves are a significant component to which POCUS can execute its handiwork, producing images that provide answers to a health concern. Understanding the details behind this principle of POCUS is imperative for proper use. 

Another definition discussed is attenuation, which is a process by which ultrasound beam energy is lost as it travels through tissue or structures within the body. Attenuation limits the depth of an ultrasound beam from where meaningful echoes can be received. While POCUS has astonishing capabilities, it’s important to be aware of the limitations to forgo any poor patient management scenarios. The Fundamentals Certificate will undoubtedly establish this knowledge. 

Once the image is rendered, knowing exactly how to interpret the POCUS findings is key to a successful POCUS examination.

The Fundamentals course will help you explain ultrasound image orientation. Interpreting 2-D imaging in a 3-D patient can be confusing to the untrained eye. That’s why understanding anatomical orientation in relation to transducer notch orientation is critical to delivering accurate results. Our course will teach you the need-to-know orientation rules that apply to POCUS. 

Additionally, you will be able to describe ultrasound artifacts seen in images. Some are helpful, while others are a distraction. Any assumptions made by the ultrasound system that is not true, create artifacts. Other times it is due to an interaction of the ultrasound beam with the tissue planes or structures in the body. You must know the difference to guarantee accuracy.

Lastly, you will gain the background to describe ultrasound safety principles. With any medical device, safety is essential. All POCUS users should understand the possible implications and safety concerns with ultrasound. In general, the recommendation is to use the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle.

As you can see, using POCUS is more complicated than one might assume. Your return on investment from successful completion of the POCUS Fundamentals course will be rich in knowledge and experience. 

Don’t wait any longer! Learn more about our POCUS Fundamentals course.

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Looking for more information?

Fill out the form below or email us at POCUS@Inteleos.org to get more info.
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