Learning strategies of general practitioners striving to achieve point-of-care ultrasound competence: a qualitative study

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Background Point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) is increasingly used in general practice despite the lack of official educational programmes or guidelines for general practitioners (GPs). Aim To explore how GPs have learnt to use POCUS and which barriers they have encountered in their learning process. Design and setting Qualitative study conducted in office-based general practice in Denmark. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 GPs who had implemented POCUS without supporting guidelines or regulations. Analysis was carried out using systematic text condensation. The interview data for this study were collected along with data used in a previous study. Results The participating GPs described having composed their own ultrasound education following a continuous learning process. Basic POCUS competences were achieved through formalized training sessions at hospital departments or courses. The GPs further developed and expanded their scanning skills through additional courses and continuous self-study practice on patients often while consulting internet sources, textbooks or colleagues. Lack of available ultrasound courses, supervision, and clinical guidelines together with time constraints and financial aspects were mentioned as barriers to their ultrasound training. Conclusion This study showed how GPs had composed their own ultrasound education individually and differently, guided by their own experiences and beliefs about good clinical practice. Formalized ultrasound training was considered a prerequisite for achieving basic ultrasound competences while continuous practice was considered paramount to develop and maintain scanning skills. There were several obstacles to overcome in the learning process including lack of supervision, guidance, and opportunity for practicing skills.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)67-77
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2022

ID: 298383238