Across the world organisations such as the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the International Federation for Emergency Medicine have similarly developed subgroups in Emergency Ultrasound. In the last five years, more and more ultrasound techniques have come to be regarded as core competencies in Emergency Medicine rather than the exclusive domain of the ultrasound fellow. This subgroup was developed in order to achieve in order to promote, develop and facilitate training and credentialing in Emergency Ultrasound.
The Emergency Ultrasound Society of South Africa will be responsible for the following functions inter alia:
- advancing the practice and training of Emergency Ultrasound at both beginner and advanced levels in Southern Africa
- setting standards and practice guidelines for the use of Emergency Ultrasound by Emergency Physicians and non-specialist Emergency Medicine practitioners
- defining the structure and content of training and teaching in Emergency Ultrasound at advanced levels
- training and credentialing of ultrasound course directors, ultrasound trainers and ultrasound courses
- credentialing of Emergency Ultrasound practitioners at basic and advanced levels
- establishing training and credentialing days (similar to the “finishing courses” in the UK) to increase the number of candidates achieving accreditation
- setting standards for pricing of ultrasound training courses
- to provide a vehicle through the website for training and examining candidates in Emergency Ultrasound
- to coordinate training on a national and international level
- to interact with international organisations on matters of training, practice and credentialing
- to interact with the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa with regards to training and credentialing of registrars in Emergency Medicine as well as the development of diplomas, higher diplomas and fellowships in Emergency Ultrasound
- establishing and encouraging research in Emergency Ultrasound and Emergency Echocardiography
The Emergency Ultrasound Society of South Africa will accept members from all disciplines who practice emergency or critical care ultrasound. Prospective members will need to be members of EMSSA in good standing. The Society has a constitution that is consistent with that of EMSSA. The executive committee of the Society will have representation from each university that conducts training in Emergency Ultrasound. This committee will be nominated and voted on a biennial basis in the same manner as the committee of EMSSA is selected, by members of the Society. This committee would comprise at least six members, a president, vice president, training coordinator, treasurer and secretary.
The Society will oversee all aspects of credentialing at all levels of Emergency Ultrasound. The Society will adopt credentialing criteria according to internationally established guidelines. These may change from time to time according to best practice. The Society will also coordinate with practitioners in other disciplines to establish common areas of interest, training and credentialing. The Society will also motivate to the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa to establish a postgraduate diploma in Emergency Ultrasound.
The practice of Emergency Ultrasound and emergency echocardiography is rapidly developing and advancing across the world. South Africa has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of these developments across the world, at least in an academic setting. The Society will strive to maintain the academic excellence in ultrasound in emergency medicine as well as promote the use of Emergency Ultrasound at all levels of Emergency Departments in South Africa.
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