Dr Cliff Shelton is a Specialty Registrar in anaesthesia and was appointed to an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in August 2012. This post forms part of integrated academic training, in which junior doctors are supported to develop research skills in parallel to their clinical training. His current research, supervised by Doctor Maggie Mort (Reader in the Sociology of Science, Technology and Medicine) and Professor Andrew Smith (Consultant Anaesthetist and Honorary Professor of Anaesthesia), examines the use of ultrasound in the insertion of central venous catheters.
Cliff’s academic background is in medical education, having worked as a clinical teaching fellow at Keele University Medical School in 2011-2012. During this post he developed an enthusiasm for human factors and simulation-based training, and undertook research on the assessment of situation awareness in the simulated critical illness setting. He believes that environmental sustainability is key to the successful development of healthcare in the 21st century, and has an interest in research and education that supports the development of ‘green medicine’.
In addition to its diagnostic role, ultrasound technology allows practitioners to view structures beneath the skin during invasive procedures. The last decade has seen an explosion in the use of ultrasound by non-radiologists and its use in central venous cannulation is supported by NICE guidelines. However, the precise way in which ultrasound guidance is used, taught and learned remains unclear. Cliff’s current research uses ethnography, interviews and focus groups to observe these phenomena in the clinical setting to understand the way in which healthcare practitioners relate to a changing technological landscape.