Australia has been slow to take up portable ultrasound technology because we have been spoiled by a superbly trained group of dedicated practitioners called ‘sonographers’. Europe has not had this luxury, so Europe has pioneered what we call ‘bedside’ or ‘point of care’ ultrasound. We need to catch up.
Teaching simple skills, such as ultrasound guided cannulation, is one way to introduce health practitioners to the benefits of ultrasound and familiarise them to the machine.
Our long term goal is to introduce young Australian health practitioners to high quality ultrasound habits. Lung ultrasound for heart failure is a very simple first step. There are many more ways that ultrasound can help in diagnosis and management – but we have to start slowly. If we can show that it helps in your care, we will broaden our teaching to include other lung conditions, heart conditions, and certain abdominal complaints. Perhaps one day you will be able to have your simple ultrasound tests done at the time you see the doctor – and only the complex scans by appointment later in the week.