Our Program is one of the only programs in the country that provides comprehensive basic clinical ultrasound training which can be useful in an intensive care setting. Some of these techniques include functional neonatal echocardiography, screening head ultrasound, and the use of ultrasound to evaluate fluid collections and line placement. The functional echocardiography training is supervised by ECHO trained and experienced neonatologist. Education is provided in the use of ultrasound for non-cardiac purposes including bowel examination, bladder detection, line assessment, and head ultrasound. Fellows learn from several different types of ultrasound devices on an individualized basis.
All fellows receive a copy of the 2 part CD, “Practical Echocardiography for the Neonatologist” These CDs allow the fellow to understand 3D imaging and help understand spatial cardiac anatomy. They also teach neonatal fellows how to use echocardiography of the NICU.
Fellows are expected to complete both CDs and review them with other trained neonatologist in their first year before any hands on training on infants. They also will spend sessions with our senior neonatal sonographer, Randy Atkinson learning probe positions and different views. They also will attend bi-monthly sessions reviewing echocardiograms performed by other fellows and neonatologists.
Fellows are expected to perform complete echocardiograms on every patient and review them with an echocardiography trained neonatologists. Much of the second year is aimed on learning flow measures and performing accurate measurements particularly with respect to AV, PV and SVC diameters.
Fellows interested in graduating with a letter stating that they are competent to perform functional echocardiography should have at least 50 fully complete echocardiograms that are reviewed with an echocardiography trained neonatologist. In order to use functional echocardiography in a clinical setting, inter- and intra-variability of measurements must be kept to a minimum. Therefore, prior to final certification 5 infants will have serial echocardiograms compared with a senior neonatal echocardiographer to ensure that important measures of systemic blood flow are within an acceptable range of inter and intra-observer variability.