Last week, we had Najah K. come and join us for our 5-Day Echocardiography Cardiac Doppler Ultrasound course. She thoroughly enjoyed the course and agreed to give us an interview about her experience and her thoughts on the class. Read her testimonial below!
Q: Could you tell us about your background?
I am an internal medicine resident and research fellow at Houston Methodist and with the Texas A&M Academy physician scientists with the Burroughs welcome Fund program.
Q: Why were you looking for an ultrasound course?
There were actually multiple reasons. Number one, I’m interested in doing innovative cardiovascular solutions, and my goal in life and in terms of cardiovascular technology is to learn more about noninvasive technologies, and #1 on the list that almost every cardiovascular tool requires is echocardiography, so that’s the reason why I’m here.
The other reason is I actually was accepted at Scripps Cardiovascular Institute in La Jolla, CA. I’m very excited, and I ended up trying to find ways to learn more about echocardiography. It’s something that’s always fascinated me, especially when I heard that there were pocket ultrasound machines. So, I thought to myself, this is a really good tool that you can use anywhere and pretty much in any discipline especially in cardiology. The issue was that I didn’t really have a good resource standardized protocol that I could follow to learn like the basics that people do.
Trying to follow an echo tech at a hospital for a day or two is not going to cut it. Most of them really don’t have the time to teach. In the Medical Center, you have access to a lot of cardiologists. The problem is that they’re in between patients. They can show you some basic things, but they can’t teach you, so that’s why I was looking for something standardized and structured where it would allow me to learn how to not only just basics anatomy and physics but also putting that together with knobology and how to practically use an ultrasound machine.
Q: How did you hear about us, and why did you choose us?
I actually went online and found AHEC through Google because I was just searching for echocardiography accredited course, and lo and behold, I genuinely could not find anything accredited that was in Texas, or even maybe in the southern United States, with a lot of course availability and options. Some of the options I found there were live virtual courses, but I wanted something more hands on, so that’s why I picked coming here. To me the price was what I would expect for all that was being offered, with the lecture and then hands-on models.
Q: How has it been learning with Shawn?
Shawn has been really great. He’s taught me a lot about how to use an ultrasound machine. He was able to work with me on a machine that I brought. He’s never used this machine before, but he was able to help me understand how to use this machine, which is so great. You want someone who’s experienced, you know? I felt super confident and comfortable with Shawn, and that really makes a difference.
Q: How do you feel about the course’s effectiveness so far?
Literally, I was telling Shawn yesterday that I took my point of care ultrasound machine home, and I was able to do a subxiphoid. I did A4 apical chamber view. I did parasternal long access short access at home, literally within like 3 days, and I had not been able to do that before no matter how many times I would go and try to follow different echo techs.
Q: What was your favorite part about the class?
My favorite part was doing the live model scanning with Shawn. During the day we would go through basic theory and basic physiology, which was a good review for a physician like me. I think it’s always good to go over basic anatomy physiology. But the best part was doing the live models with Shawn. I mean, it was great doing it in real time with someone without feeling rushed. I cannot stress this enough to you, being able to sit down with Shawn, as patient as he is, and getting the positions right, getting the views right, and asking him questions, that was worth it.
Q: Do you have any final thoughts on the class?
As a basic foundation, I highly recommend this course. Highly recommend it. I feel like every resident, every medical student should at least have a two-day session with Shawn because if you understand how to use an ECHO machine, an ultrasound machine, and you know what ECHO techs are looking for, that makes you a better clinician. There are certain things that I used to order in echocardiography thinking I would see a better view of that when it’s probably not. There are certain nuances that now will make me a better clinician. I can now do standard views on people and be much more confident at what I’m looking at.
Register for the course!
If you’re interested in taking our Echocardiography Cardiac Doppler Ultrasound class, we have several classes coming up this year. Register in advance and receive a discount! The course is a systematic presentation of echocardiography scanning using an integrated teaching approach of lecture, assigned reading, testing, demonstration, and clinical scanning of models. Didactic training is reinforced through clinical laboratory experience. The Advanced Health Education Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. AHEC designates this educational activity for a maximum of 40 hours AMA PRA Category I™.