Simulation Training Helps Improve Emergency Care

Dr. Patrick Martel provides simulation education training on the use of Point of Care UltraSound (PoCUS) technology to emergency physicians and residents at our Hosptial. PoCUS enables timely and accurate bedside diagnosis.

Point Of Care UltraSound (PoCUS) is becoming a very important skill and a standard of care in Emergency Medicine. To help improve the level of care provided to our patients and families, members of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s emergency care team recently participated in PoCUS simulation training.

PoCUS is a real-time assessment done at the bedside with a portable ultrasound and provides an immediate extension to the physical exam, directly improving diagnostic accuracy. Its immediate, high resolution images provide emergency doctors with the ability to diagnose more quickly and more accurately directly at the bedside.

“PoCUS training significantly improves the quality of clinical care provided by physicians. Applied on almost every second patient in the emergency department, PoCUS is becoming almost as useful and informative to a physician as a stethoscope,” said Dr. Patrick Martel, Co-Director of our Emergency Department PoCUS program and CEUS Master Instructor. “The current accepted Canadian PoCUS standard is set by the Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society (CEUS). Although the training is labor intensive and time consuming, the method drastically improves the precision and safety of a vast array of procedures.”

Emergency physicians at our Hospital, in collaboration with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, first began the Emergency Department PoCUS program a few years ago. The program aims to improve the quality of care provided to patients by training current practicing emergency physicians and all graduating emergency residents to an advanced PoCUS training level. This involved course work and extensive supervised scanning sessions.

“This most recent course was provided to twenty of our emergency physicians and residents and is a big step towards obtaining advanced skills certifications,” said Dr. Gordon Porter, Chief of Staff. “Thanks to the hard work being done by Dr. Martel and Dr. Zanette (Co-Directors of our Emergency Department PoCUS program) and all of our participating emergency physicians, we are making notable improvements to the level of care that we provide to our patients and families.”

The PoCUS machines were generously provided through donations to our Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. To learn more about how your donations can support life-saving medical equipment, visit