ARRS 2022 Abstracts


2065. Radiology Residents Performing Abdominal Ultrasound: The Impact of a Digital Scanning Curriculum
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Maria Velez Florez *; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  2. Nicole Bodo; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  3. Janet Reid; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  4. Ami Gokli; Staten Island University Hospital
In the United States, increasing demands and limited hours in residency programs have led to decreased time for training in ultrasound (US) scanning, prioritizing training of US technologists. Despite this, radiologists are responsible for interpreting ultrasound images accurately and troubleshooting sub-optimal images to overcome operator shortcomings, aid sonographers, and provide first-rate patient care. It can be difficult to aid sonographers without having acquired scanning skills, and comprehensive training in US scanning during radiology residency is again being recognized as an essential component of the training curriculum. Moreover, other non-radiology specialties are actively integrating US scanning into their programs. Most radiology residents do not feel confident performing US examinations on their own. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of implementing an abdominal US scanning rotation and digital curriculum as it pertains to radiology residents’ ability and confidence in performing US.

Materials and Methods:
Sixty-nine radiology residents on a pediatric radiology rotation were divided into control (A, N=39) and intervention groups (B, N=30). Both groups completed a pre-and post-survey regarding confidence in scanning ability, and a hands-on skills assessment before and after the intervention whereby resident scanning skills were objectively assessed. Both groups were evaluated by an expert US technologist while performing abdominal US on a volunteer. In the intervention group, the trainees were enrolled in a 1-week hands-on pediatric abdominal US scanning rotation with an abdominal US digital curriculum that included audio/video instruction. At completion, they were given a survey regarding their thoughts about the digital curriculum and scanning rotation. Trainee performance in each group was evaluated by comparing the pre-and post-test results using paired-T tests and comparing effect size (ES) with Cohen’s d.

The pre-confidence and pre-skills performance was comparable in both groups. Confidence in scanning ability significantly improved in both groups, with a greater ES in group B (B d= 1.7 [large ES] p<0.001; A d=0.46 [small ES] p=0.001). Although both groups demonstrated skills improvement, a greater ES was observed in group B than A (B d= 1.92 [large ES] p<0.001; A d= 0.46 [small ES] p= 0.005). Overall, group B residents expressed that the US rotation and digital curriculum was helpful for developing US skills.

Acquiring and optimizing US images is a learned and practiced skill. To accurately interpret US images and effectively troubleshoot image acquisition, a radiology resident must be competent in acquiring images themselves. Although participating in a general pediatric radiology rotation may familiarize residents with US scanning and increase their confidence/skills, a dedicated scanning rotation paired with an US digital curriculum has a greater impact in improving resident’s confidence and skills.