Delivering the knowledge base and skills required to assess gestational age, pregnancy site, pregnancy viability and fetal number with point of care ultrasound at 5 to 10 week’s gestation. Developed as a joint initiative between the Mobile Learning Unit, Melbourne Medical School and Mercy Perinatal, Mercy Hospital for Women, this course is written by and for clinicians who care for women in early pregnancy. The course readily aligns with existing educational programs and qualifications, prepares you for supervised practice, and is flexible to your educational needs and availability. The course can be also used for revision, for example if your career changes or is interrupted temporarily.
The early 21st century was marked by scandals in Australia, Ireland, England and other high-income countries where women suffered misdiagnosis of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Women rightly demanded accurate diagnosis and humane care. Women complained about long waiting times in Emergency Departments, cursory ultrasound examinations and hastily-made management plans, often determined to a greater extent by clinicians’, not patients’ preferences.
Enquiries such as the Irish Health Executives' 2011 National Miscarriage Misdiagnosis Review called for readily accessible Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC), staffed by appropriately educated clinicians and specifically recommended courses in transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound.
The current course meets the need for multi-disciplinary education, supporting clinicians and healthcare services to develop holistic Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC), with special attention to practice and interpretation of point of care ultrasound (POCUS).
Clinicians currently working in or planning to work in Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics: Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists and trainees, Midwives, Emergency Medicine Physicians, Trainees and Nurses, Sexual Health and General Practice Doctors, Trainees and Nurses.
- Know about normal early pregnancy development, as seen through the ultrasound lens, for both singleton and twin pregnancies
- Optimise ultrasound images through knowledge of physics, machine settings and patient aspects such as uterine axis and patient size
- Understand terminology for probe manoeuvres and anatomical planes
- Know when and when not to do POCUS and when and how to seek additional imaging and other expertise
- Diagnose miscarriage precisely and outline women’s treatment options
- Diagnose tubal ectopic pregnancy precisely and outline women’s treatment options
- Image ovaries and recognise serious or common complications in early pregnancy
- Reflect on and improve practice for experienced Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC) practitioners and those wishing to initiate or develop an EPAC service
- Prepare for supervised POCUS practice, workshops, simulation, and assessments, whether as a trainee or trainer/assessor