Purpose: To determine whether simulation training of ultrasound (US)-guided central venous catheter (CVC) insertion skills on a partial task trainer improves cannulation and insertion success rates in clinical practice.
Method: This prospective, randomized, controlled, single-blind study of first- and second-year residents occurred at a tertiary care teaching hospital from January 2007 to September 2008. The intervention group (n = 90) received a didactic and hands-on, competency-based simulation training course in US-guided CVC insertion, whereas the control group (n = 95) received training through a traditional, bedside apprenticeship model. Success at first cannulation and successful CVC insertion served as the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes included reduction in technical errors and decreased mechanical complications.
Results: Blinded independent raters observed 495 CVC insertions by 115 residents over a 21-month period. Successful first cannulation occurred in 51% of the intervention group versus 37% of the control group (P = .03). CVC insertion success occurred for 78% of the intervention group versus 67% of the control group (P = .02). Simulation training was independently and significantly associated with success at first cannulation (odds ratio: 1.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.8) and with successful CVC insertion (odds ratio: 1.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.8)—both independent of US use, patient comorbidities, or resident specialty. No significant differences related to technical errors or mechanical complications existed between the two groups.
Conclusions: Simulation training was associated with improved in-hospital performance of CVC insertion. Procedural simulation was associated with improved residents' skills and was more effective than traditional training.