A little Hocus PoCUS – applications of point of care ultrasound in a remote setting

Ms Alanna Watson1

1IOTHS – CKI, Cocos (keeling) Islands, Australia


PoCUS (point of care ultrasound) is a quick bedside tool which can be used as an adjunct to the physical exam or provide guidance for procedures.  Applications for PoCUS have made their way into most areas of clinical practice and are utilized in the US, UK, and Canada. (Canadian Association of Radiologists 2013)

Cocos (keeling) Islands is one of the most remote health centres in Australia.  A small chain of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean 3000km from the mainland.  We have a full suite of POC equipment, including 2 ultrasound machines.

Utilizing the ultrasound machines as part of the POC diagnostic suite, we have been able to answer questions in the clinical exam which have improved our treatment decisions and patient safety.  It has proved invaluable with acutely unwell patients, answering time critical questions.  It has been most valuable in the day to day operations.  Adding an extra piece of evidence to make evacuation decisions, or guiding invasive procedures.

In my presentation I hope to inspire other RANs to explore the applications of PoCUS in their clinical setting.  I will talk briefly about how U/S works and safety considerations.  Discuss the numerous applications in the remote setting and some that I have found particularly useful.  In conclusion, I will talk about how to get started, offer a suite of interesting links, and training options.




Clinical Nurse Manager – Cocos (keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean Territories Health Service