Educational standards for training paramedics in ultrasound: A scoping review

Benjamin Nicholas Meadley, Alexander Olaussen, Ashleigh Delorenzo, Nick Roder, Caroline Martin, Toby St Clair, Andrew Burns, Emma Stam, Brett Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Paramedic-performed out-of-hospital ultrasound is a novel skill that has gained popularity in some services in recent years. In this setting point-of care ultrasound (POCUS) can provide additional information that can assist with management and guide transport to the most appropriate facility. We sought to explore the different educational approaches used for training paramedics in ultrasound in the out-of-hospital setting.Methods: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBM Reviews, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL plus, The Monash University Research Repository and the British Thesis Library were searched from the 1st of January 1990 to the 6th of April 2016. Google Scholar was searched and reference lists of relevant papers were examined to identify additional studies. Articles were included if they reported on out-of-hospital and POCUS educational approaches for paramedics.Results: A total of 2002 unique articles were identified of which 18 articles met the inclusion criteria. Most articles reported combined cohorts of emergency providers with varying years of experience though most operators were POCUS naïve. The most common clinical assessment for which paramedic POCUS curricula was described was the focused assessment sonography for trauma (FAST) examination. Education programs varied from two-minutes to two-days with all studies including both didactic and practical training.Conclusion: Education programs for POCUS for paramedics vary considerably, and do not appear to align with qualification level or clinical experience. Further research investigating education and subsequent clinical application of POCUS by paramedics is required, as well as prospective, outcome based studies in order to measure the clinical utility of out-of-hospital POCUS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2017


  • Education
  • Out-of-hospital
  • Paramedic
  • Training
  • Ultrasound

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