without compromising patient's care and safety, researchers at Henry Ford Hospital have claimed.
The study showed that this simulation-based training course can be a valuable tool to improve medical residents' knowledge, dexterity and confidence for performing some of the more common ultrasound-guided procedures, including breast biopsies, liver biopsies, thyroid biopsies and the removal of fluid in the body.
In addition, a simulated model allows for standardization of medical education.
"The mannequins allow us to simulate actual ultrasound guided procedures, which offers residents a unique training opportunity prior to working on real patients. Ultimately, the residents in our study became more proficient and efficient in performing these procedures," said study co-author Dr. John W. Bonnett.
For the study, researchers enrolled 29 radiology residents from all four levels of training.
The residents were given written, video, and live interactive training from staff on the basics of ultrasound guided procedures.
Residents had six months to practice these skills at the Center for Simulation, Education and Research at Henry Ford Hospital.
As part of the study, residents used phantom mannequins that contained both hypo- and hyperechoic nodules to simulate the ultrasound procedure.
Written and practical examinations were given before and after training to assess for changes in competency and proficiency.
Study results showed a significant improvement between the residents' pre- and post-test scores on both the written and practical exams.
After training, residents also demonstrated improved dexterity in the technical aspects of ultrasound guided procedures.
On the survey questionnaire, residents said that the course improved their knowledge level and technical ability for ultrasound guided procedures.
It also boosted their confidence for performing biopsies.
Overall, the researchers have said that this additional simulation training translates to improved patient care and safety, as well as patient satisfaction, decreased risk of complications, decreased procedural time, and the ability to improvise in difficult or unexpected situations
The results of the study will be presented at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting in Chicago.