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Procedural simulation: medical student preference and value of three task trainers for ultrasound guided regional anesthesia

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Shadi Lahham1, Taylaur Smith2, Jessa Baker2, Amanda Purdy2, Erica Frumin1, Bret Winners1, Sean P. Wilson1, Abdulatif Gari1, John C. Fox1


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California 92868, USA


2 UC Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, California, USA


Corresponding Author: Shadi Lahham, Email: slahham@uci.edu


© 2017 World Journal of Emergency Medicine


DOI: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920–8642.2017.04.007


BACKGROUND: Ultrasound guided regional anesthesia is widely taught using task trainer models. Commercially available models are often used; however, they can be cost prohibitive. Therefore, alternative "homemade" models with similar fidelity are often used. We hypothesize that professional task trainers will be preferred over homemade models. The purpose of this study is to determine realism, durability and cleanliness of three different task trainers for ultrasound guided nerve blocks.

METHODS: This was a prospective observational study using a convenience sample of medical student participants in an ultrasound guided nerve block training session on January 24th, 2015. Participants were asked to perform simulated nerve blocks on three different task trainers including, 1 commercial and 2 homemade. A questionnaire was then given to all participants to rate their experiences both with and without the knowledge on the cost of the simulator device.

RESULTS: Data was collected from 25 participants. The Blue Phantom model was found to have the highest fidelity. Initially, 10 (40%) of the participants preferred the Blue Phantom model, while 10 (40%) preferred the homemade gelatin model and 5 (20%) preferred the homemade tofu model. After cost awareness, the majority, 18 (72%) preferred the gelatin model.

CONCLUSION: The Blue Phantom model was thought to have the highest fidelity, but after cost consideration the homemade gelatin model was preferred.

(World J Emerg Med 2017;8(4):287–291)


KEY WORDS: Ultrasound guided nerve block; Task trainer; Regional anesthesia

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