Ultrasound Training

Welcome to the ultrasound training and practice section of the RCEM website. There is also a complementary section with additional resources on RCEMLearning.

Regional ultrasound leads

We want to ensure each of the regions of the United Kingdom and Ireland have leads for ultrasound training. The leads are primarily responsible for overseeing ultrasound training for emergency medicine trainees; however, they will also be tasked with promoting PoCUS and identifying problems to the Education Committee and Training Standards Committee. An up to date list of these leads can be found here: Ultrasound School LeadsUltrasound Regional Leads. The roles and responsibilities for the regional ultrasound leads can be found here: Roles and Responsibilities of the Regional Reps.

Training in point-of-care ultrasound

From 2010, the higher specialty curriculum for emergency medicine incorporated PoCUS as a mandatory element. This means that from 2013 trainees need to be signed off at CORE level prior to CCT being awarded. Regional panels will not allow an EM trainee to pass the final ARCP without Final Sign-off documentation being presented.

The pathway for training follows key steps which are shown here: Pathway for PoCUS. There are many applications for PoCUS; an application being a discrete focused use, for example evaluation of the abdominal aorta for abnormal dilation. For higher specialty training in emergency medicine there are four clinical applications, termed CORE (formerly Level 1):

  • Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST)
  • Assessment of the Abdominal Aorta for Aneurysm (AAA)
  • Focused Echocardiography in Life Support (ELS)
  • Ultrasound Guided Vascular Access (VA)

There are also two components to training that are mandatory for any PoCUS practice:

  • Understanding the Physics of Ultrasound
  • Good Governance in PoCUS

There are modules in RCEMLearning for all of the above (ELS is currently in development and will be available imminently).

The RCEM EMUS booklet is our core guide which includes information on the assessment process.