New training course aims to meet urgent need in interventional nephrology

Saeed Ahmed

A new postgraduate certificate (PGCert) training course for interventional nephrology (IN) has become available at Newcastle University and, according to Saeed Ahmed (South Tyneside Sunderland Foundation Trust, Sunderland, UK), this course will meet an urgent need for more training in the field of IN.

Speaking to Renal Interventions at the recent Vascular Access Society of Britain and Ireland (VASBI) meeting (28-29 September), Ahmed outlines the key aspects of this course that he feels make it uniquely positioned to continue the growth of IN in the UK.

“This is the first in the UK, probably in the world, for learning IN from a certificated university course. What students will learn in the modular based course will include renal biopsy, peritoneal dialysis catheter placement, haemodialysis access management [and] point-of-care ultrasound.”

He continues, explaining that “what we are offering is a degree level course; all the others [internationally] are mainly one-off courses that you go to. Some are certificated; American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN) is certificated, Association of Vascular Access & inTerventionAl Renal Physicians (AVATAR) is certificated, but they are not university accredited. We are offering you an accredited course, which is the first in the world, and that dove tails nicely with the international society of nephrology’s view of having international nephrology centres around the world.”

The importance of a training course such as this was highlighted by the presentation of an abstract addressing the availability of training for IN, which also took place at the VASBI meeting. Khalid Rashid (James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK) et al collected data from 41 participants, from 11 regions of the UK, in a hands-on IN workshop about their competencies in 10 different nephrology procedures, with participants being awarded a score of one for each procedure they said they were competent in and a cumulative score out of 10 being calculated at the end of the questionnaire.

The results of this questionnaire showed that, with a total possible score of ten, the mean score of all participants was 2-,±1.39. Whilst 29 participants were competent in performing native and transplanted kidney biopsies, only one participant was trained to perform vein mapping, while none of the participants were trained in performing advanced procedures such as arteriovenous fistula /arteriovenous graft thrombectomy, central vein angioplasty, and fistuloplasty.

Rashid concluded that there is a clear need for more frequent IN training courses that can prepare nephrologists to perform complex interventions. He emphasised how crucial these courses are, saying that more need to be organised so that “nephrologists [can] contribute effectively to the multidisciplinary team to manage complex renal patients.”

You can learn more about Newcastle University’s new training course here.


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