Interdisciplinary approach to enhance trauma residents education of Extended-Focused Assessment for Sonography in Trauma in the emergency department

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



ANZ Journal of Surgery








emergency surgery; FAST exam; point-of-care ultrasound; trauma


© 2020 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Background: Despite the utilization of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) by trauma surgeons, formal POCUS requirements do not exist for general surgery residents. We sought to evaluate surgery resident comfort with performing and interpreting of Extended-Focused Assessment for Sonography in Trauma (E-FAST) scans after a brief educational session. Methods: A pre-survey, sent to PGY-2 and -3 surgical residents before their trauma rotation, evaluated comfort with eight components of the E-FAST. Residents were then required to watch a 15-min online video and attend a 1-h bedside training session moderated by emergency medicine ultrasound fellows during which residents practised E-FAST image acquisition and interpretation. After the rotation, residents completed a post-survey evaluating their comfort with the E-FAST. Results: All 27 residents rotating on the trauma service during the 2017–2018 academic year were eligible and, therefore, approached by the study team. Twenty-one (77.78%) residents completed the pre-survey, training and post-survey. Initially, only 52% (13/25) of residents reported feeling confident in performing the E-FAST. After the session, all (100%) reported feeling confident in their training in E-FAST. Self-reported mean comfort with each of the eight components of the E-FAST showed a statistically significant (P < 0.01) increase from pre–post survey for all residents. Isolating only the residents who initially reported feeling confident in E-FAST still showed a statistically significant (P < 0.01) increase in mean comfort. Conclusion: A single POCUS training programme has been shown to improve surgical residents' comfort in performing and interpreting the E-FAST. This interdisciplinary approach can enhance collaboration and bridge gaps between emergency medicine and surgery residency programmes.

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