MedUni Vienna is implementing a new method of teaching, called “peer teaching,” through its “Sono4You” initiative, which has been offered at the school since 2007. The new teaching model is to help teach new ultrasound and imaging techniques.
The idea came from Peter Pokieser, from the Unified Patient Division at the MedUni Vienna, and is now being offered to students, who are also helping to run the program. The pilot project is collaborating with the Department of Medical Advanced and Further Training in order to provide globally competitive ultrasound and lab skills to the students.
The “Sono4You” initiative is described as being “from students and for students,” and has been designed to improve the knowledge and skills for conducting ultrasound investigations, a method used without radiation to reduce the damage, risk and costs, and increase positive diagnostic outcomes. Despite the inherent benefits of ultrasound technology, successful use of it requires knowledge of the procedures, as well as experience.
The Department of Medical Advanced and Further Training at the MedUni Vienna, led by Dr. Anita Holzinger, has partnered up with Sono4You to establish a peer teaching model to help students enlarge their knowledge on ultrasound by themselves. “It is very important to me and my team to enable students to acquire principles-based clinical skills and abilities at an early stage,” said Dr. Holzinger in a press release.
This is the first project to function as a permanent part of the curriculum, taking place at MedUni’s newest facilities in Sensengasse. To date, it comprises 61 practical courses in three modules, and has already engaged 45 ultrasound honorary tutors, specialized in abdomen, ultrasound diagnosis of bleeding and organ injuries (FAST/E-FAST), echocardiography, head and neck, as well as musculoskeletal ultrasound.
“At peak times, the machines were in use eight hours a day. All in all, 366 hours of ultrasound have been taught over the last three months. In future, the ultrasound skills lab will be used to expand ultrasound teaching, but also provide interdisciplinary services to the MedUni Vienna,” added Dr. Holzinger.
The main purpose is to optimize and engage all three fields of ultrasound currently being taught at the university, which include a mandatory ultrasound course, practical weeks for structured verification as part of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), and voluntary practical sessions on a variety of topics.