Validation of the Educational Potential of a Simulator to Develop Abilities and Skills for the Creation and Maintenance of an Intravenous Cannula
Juan J. Perez-Rivero and Emilio Rendón-Franco
Historically, the method used in veterinary medicine to teach technical procedures which are to be performed on live animals, has taken the form of an apprenticeship. However, in the last decade, there have been several new developments in technologies oriented toward the development of such abilities and skills by students — for example, manuals, videos, pictures, and virtual reality simulators. Unfortunately, these simulators are inaccessible to many, due to their high cost. For this reason, it is necessary to create simulators that are easy to manufacture at low cost, and that are also portable. These simulators also need to be validated with regard to their ability to fulfil the required educational objectives. The validation of a venous simulator is described in this study. Fifty-two veterinary students, with no previous experience in the creation and maintenance of an indwelling venous cannula, were selected at random. They were divided into two groups: one experimental group (n = 35), who had training practice on the simulator, and the remainder (n = 17), who acted as the control group (i.e. they had no training practice on the simulator). The outcome measure was the number of attempts required to successfully cannulate the cephalic vein of an anaesthetised rabbit. The students in the experimental group showed more skill in cannulating the vein, with 45% effectiveness, as compared to 20% effectiveness in the control group. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (p < 0.05).