Ultrasound Rotation

Welcome to your Point of Care Ultrasound Elective!

Beginning on the first day of your rotation, (Monday) we will meet in the GW Emergency Department Conference room at 8 a.m.

The address is 2120 L Street NW and the Department of Emergency Medicine is on the 4th floor. You will participate in our weekly Monday QA sessions and monthly Journal Clubs if the journal club date falls within your rotation block. QA is when we go through all the ultrasound exams done in the emergency department the previous week using QPath.  You will be assigned to seven 4-hour scan shifts/week, usually on Monday morning. Only up to 3 shifts/week may be by yourself, otherwise you must pair up with a resident/fellow/faculty for at least part of the scan shift. Remind us, and we will share the editable calendar with you on the first day. If you do not receive editing access to the calendar by the end of your first day, please let us know.

You will use sonoguide primarily as reading source. as your primary reading source.  We also recommend the E-book which is free (Intro to Bedside volume 1 & 2). You should read the chapters covering physics as well as the FAST exam prior to the first day of the rotation. Other helpful chapters will be gall bladder, cardiac, OB, aorta and DVT.

Two-week rotators will need to complete five test modules and four-week rotators will need to complete 10 test modules. The exams should include: FAST, cardiac, biliary, aorta and DVT. Other test modules can be taken by choice by end of the rotation. Print out a copy of your completed exams (or take a screen shot) and turn them in to me.

In summary, a two-week rotator will have 10 hours of QA and 56 hours of scan time, +/- journal club. A for-week rotator will have 40 hours of QA and 112 hours of scanning time. Your "free time" is used for reading and test taking. Additionally, four-week rotators should prepare a 15 minute presentation on a point of care ultrasound topic of their choosing to be presented at QA on the last week of the rotation.


Here's what we recommend for your "solo shifts."

  • Do them in the afternoon as there are many more patients in the department getting imaging studies
  • Only do ultrasounds of the body part that is already being imaged by CT scan or US (you can tell by looking at Cerner in the comment section for who's getting imaging studies)
  • So, pop in, open Cerner, make a list of patients getting CT or US exams
  • Introduce yourself to patients as medical students/res on the ultrasound team. Tell them you noticed they are getting a CT scan or an US scan of a certain body part. Then ask their permission to do your own ultrasound to compare to the one they are already getting. Let them know this is part of your education and learning and they will not be charged for it.
  • If you happen to see anything abnormal or strange, they are already getting a comprehensive radiology imaging study, so that will cover any abnormalities.
  • If a patient is getting a CT Abdomen/Pelvis, (if the patient lets you), you can do FAST, Gall Bladder, Aorta, Kidneys
  • If a patient is getting a pelvic sono (for pregnancy), you can do an OB US (make sure you're in the OB setting rather than the abdominal setting)
  • If there are two of you scanning and you're going to do a FAST and GB, one of you should do the FAST, the other the GB.
  • If you want to do a scan you've not done before, pop on to sonoguide.com before going to do that study to do some self directed learning
  • The idea is that we do recommend you step outside of your comfort zone a little bit and work on your own skill development. It also enables us to give you some feedback during QA. If you do all of your scans with us, you get less feedback.

Additionally, our emails are as follows: