Training opportunities in thoracic ultrasound for respiratory trainees: are current guidelines practical?

Andrew E Stanton, Matthew Evison, Mark Roberts, Jennifer Latham, Amelia O Clive, Elizabeth Batalla-Duran, Rahul Bhatnagar, Rachelle Asciak, Ben Diggins, Oliver J Bintcliffe, Diana Lees, Maria Parsonage, Peppa Denny, Kathryn Gow, Cristina Avram, Manish Gautam, Najib M Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Respiratory trainees in the UK face challenges in meeting current Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) Level 1 training requirements for thoracic ultrasound (TUS) competence, specified as attending 'at least one session per week over a period of no less than 3 months, with approximately five scans per session performed by the trainee (under supervision of an experienced practitioner)'. We aimed to clarify where TUS training opportunities currently exist for respiratory registrars.

Methods: Data were collected (over a 4-week period) to clarify the number of scans (and therefore volume of training opportunities) within radiology departments and respiratory services in hospitals in the South West, North West deaneries and Oxford.

Results: 14 hospitals (including three tertiary pleural centres) provided data. Of 964 scans, 793 (82.3%) were conducted by respiratory teams who performed a mean of 17.7 scans per week, versus 3.1 TUS/week in radiology departments. There was no radiology session in any hospital with ≥5 TUS performed, whereas 8/14 (86%) of respiratory departments conducted such sessions. Almost half (6/14) of radiology departments conducted no TUS scans in the period surveyed.

Conclusions: The currently recommended exposure of regularly attending a list or session to undertake five TUS is not achievable in radiology departments. The greatest volume of training opportunities exists within respiratory departments in a variety of scheduled and unscheduled settings. Revision of the competency framework in TUS, and where this is delivered, is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e000390
JournalBMJ Open Respiratory Research
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


Dive into the research topics of 'Training opportunities in thoracic ultrasound for respiratory trainees: are current guidelines practical?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this