The ability to perform bedside thoracic ultrasound is increasingly recognized as an essential skill for thoracic clinicians, extending the clinical examination and aiding diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Thoracic ultrasound reduces complications and increases success rates when used prior to thoracentesis or intercostal chest tube insertion. It is increasingly difficult to defend performing these procedures without real or near-real time image guidance. To assist thoracic physicians and others achieve and demonstrate thoracic ultrasound competence, the Interventional Pulmonology Special Interest Group (IP-SIG) of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) has developed a new pathway with four components: (i) completion of an approved thoracic ultrasound theory and hands-on teaching course. (ii) A log of at least 40 relevant scans. (iii) Two formative assessments (following 5–10 scans and again after 20 scans) using the Ultrasound-Guided Thoracentesis Skills and Tasks Assessment Tool (UG-STAT). (iv) A barrier assessment (UG-STAT, pass score of 90%) by an accredited assessor not directly involved in the candidate's training. Upon completion of these requirements a candidate may apply to the TSANZ for recognition of competence. This pathway is intended to provide a regional standard for thoracic ultrasound training.
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