Facebook ‘Viable Method’ for Implementing Critical Care Ultrasound Curriculum

Critical care ultrasound (CCUS) is an important skill for all critical care physicians to understand. However, currently there is no standard approach to how to teach CCUS. Researchers aimed to investigate the feasibility of implementing a CCUS curriculum via a social platform in order to evaluate the impact it has on fellow’s self-perceived competency. Results found that utilizing a social media platform, like Facebook, provides benefits such as spaced learning, active participation, and an informal and personal learning environment.

Fellows from the University of Southern California pulmonary and critical care department voluntarily enrolled in the study in which they were provided with the typical CCUS curriculum they receive and a pre-knowledge and skills assessment. After the assessment, fellows participated in a 2-day hands-on bootcamp. Once the boot camp was completed, fellows were invited to join a private CCUS Facebook group that provided them with 41 core skills divided into 5 systems delivered over 20 weeks. These posts included a wide variety of content including quizzes, cases, images, movies, and management-type questions along with links to web pages and articles. Researchers measured analytics on the platform including the traffic, number of views, and usage over time.

The authors found that 47.6% of fellows participated in the Facebook group, with 3 first year (30%), 4 second year (40%), and 2 third year (20%) fellows. The mean number of posts viewed by a fellow was 24 (out of 41 posts). Almost all (90%) of the fellows responded to the post-intervention survey; 44% shared that they would participate in a Facebook education group again; 56% responded that the Facebook group enhanced their CCUS education and 44% stated that it motivated them to learn more.

“We believe that Facebook is a viable method for implementing a CCUS curriculum,” says Dr Shiqian Li, lead researcher. “The fact that most of the fellows stated that the content was useful and had enhanced their education and some of the fellows stated that it motivated them to learn more further shows that Facebook and social media may be a beneficial adjunct for different types of learners.”

Further results from these two studies will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2018 in San Antonio on Monday, October 8, 1:45 PM – 2:00 PM at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 216B. The study abstracts can be viewed on the journal CHEST® website.

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