Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
Physical Simulators for Training Clinical Palpation Skills
Gregory J. Gerling, PhD1, Reba Moyer Childress, MSN, FNP2, Marcus L. Martin, MD3, and Sarah Rigsbee, BS1. (1) Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA, (2) National League for Nursing & Laerdal National Simulation Team Member (Project Director, Dr. Pam Jefferies-Indiana University), University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA, USA, (3) Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Learning Objective #1: define trainee-based design choices for the construction of physical simulators to teach palpation skills to medical and nursing students.
Learning Objective #2: determine how to use simulation to evaluate overall performance competency, training consistency, and transfer of training.

Our interdisciplinary team – from medicine, nursing, and engineering – is designing and building a physical simulator to teach palpation skills to medical and nursing students. These skills are important for clinical assessment and detection of prostate, breast and thyroid cancers, among others. The long term focus of this research is to ensure that practitioners’ clinical skills are systematic, time-effective, and highly accurate. The aim is to detect cancers and palpable diseases at the earliest possible stage, with an initial focus on prostate cancer and diseases.
    Our central premise is that simulators, to be useful, must assess and train practitioners in particular disease cases by monitoring and providing feedback on trainee technique, facilitating the training experience via augmented feedback, and utilizing a range of graded practice scenarios that accurately reflect disease progression. Most importantly, the skills learned through simulation must transfer to actual clinical exams. This work expands upon past work with a breast cancer simulator. Once the simulator is built, we will test the design and training protocol with medical and nursing students at various stages of development. A set of one-day experiments and one longitudinal study will test the simulator’s effectiveness by evaluating trainee competency, the consistency of training across trainee groups, and transfer of training. Our tight collaboration will ensure the successful integration of this work into the existing training programs at the University of Virginia.
    At present, the three different prostate disease states have been identified, along with their characteristic attributes. The external support structure (torso) is being built, along with the internal components (prostates with balloons to simulate the various disease states and sensors to provide trainees with feedback). The layout of the automation, as well as the interface display and delivery of tactile user feedback, is also being developed.