Ultrasound training models for medical students
Background: Ultrasound is becoming more widely utilized in clinical practice; however, its effectiveness is limited by the operator’s skills. Simulation models are attractive options for developing skills because they allow inexperienced users to practice without the risk of endangering patients.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify commercially available and homemade ultrasound models to describe them in terms of materials, cost, and whether they are high- or low-fidelity for medical student education.
Methods: This is an investigational study on cost-effective ultrasound training methods for medical students. Our study was performed using search engines in Google, Google Scholar, and PubMed to search for models for the following five modalities: foreign body identification, intravenous (IV) injection training, abdominal ultrasound, ocular ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided lumbar puncture training.
Results: Most homemade models for foreign body identification, IV injection training, and ocular ultrasound could be created for less than $20. IV injection training models were the cheapest commercially available models. There are multiple commercially available options for abdominal ultrasound models, but no options were found for homemade construction. The construction cost for lumbar puncture models was larger due to the need to purchase an anatomically accurate set of lumbar vertebrae.
Conclusions: This study provides initial guidance and suggestions for ultrasound training models that are currently available. Ultrasound models that can be cheaply made or purchased increase accessibility for medical students to gain early exposure in a cost-effective and safe manner.
Palmer JM, Little A, Tran QV. Cost-Effective Training Models in Point-of-Care Ultrasound for Medical Students in Emergency Medicine: An Evaluation of Current Resources. Cureus. 2022 Apr 2;14(4):e23753. doi: 10.7759/cureus.23753. PMID: 35518524; PMCID: PMC9064708.