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Ultrasonography Performed by Military Nurses in Combat Operations: A Perspective for the Future?

Ahead of Print 2099

Balasoupramanien K, Comat G, Renard A, Meusnier J, Montigon C, Pitel A, Bascou M, Dubourg R, Cazes N. Ahead of Print. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: In current French military operations, it is not uncommon for military nurses (MNs) alone to be required to support soldiers in isolated areas. At a time when advanced practice nurses in the civilian sector develop extended skills, we asked MNs about their willingness to be trained in point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Methods: We conducted a web-based survey from 1 November 2018 to 1 December 2018, including all MNs deployed in Operation Barkhane. The questionnaire, sent by e-mail, aimed to describe the willingness of MNs to be trained in POCUS. Their opinion on the usefulness of this training, the situations, and ultrasound (US) targets that seemed most useful to them were also studied. Results: Thirty of 34 questionnaires were completed. On average, MNs had 7.4 years of practice and had been deployed three times for military operations. Five MNs reported having had informal training in clinical US by the military physicians (MPs) they work with and had performed POCUS in real-life situations; 24 (96%) of the untrained MNs wanted to be trained. Twenty-nine (96%) of the MNs felt that there was added value in knowing how to perform POCUS, especially in operations and in isolated posts without an MP. Focused assessment with sonography for trauma and pleural and renal US were the targets considered most useful to them, in that order. Conclusion: MNs are interested in learning POCUS and say it would be beneficial for the patient. Available scientific data tend to validate their ability after a brief training course to perform reliable, targeted US examinations in the field.

Keywords: ultrasonography; military medicine; military nurse

PMID: 35862838