Teaching Module on Ultrasound-Guided Venous Access Using a Homemade Gel Model for Fourth-Year Medical Students

Robert James Adrian, April Choi, Sangeeta Lamba, Ilya Ostrovsky, Christine Ramdin, Christin Traba, Sophia Chen, Alexander Sudyn, Stephen Alerhand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Evidence supports an ultrasound-guided approach in patients with difficult vascular access. Prior research on teaching ultrasound-guided intravenous access has included only small groups of first- and second-year medical students. Methods: We enrolled fourth-year medical students in our teaching module. The module featured a 6-minute prelearning narrated lecture and 5-minute orientation, followed by ultrasound-guided IV placement on homemade gel models. Facilitators were emergency medicine (EM) residents with a prespecified level of procedural ultrasound skills according to EM milestones. Students completed pre- and postmodule surveys. Facilitators completed the Directly Observed Procedural Skills Evaluation. Primary outcomes included global rating, proficiency on six procedural skills, and perceived learning. Results: Our module was completed by 150 fourth-year medical students (94% of the class); 84% cannulated the vein in one attempt. We used a global rating scale to describe the students' cannulation abilities; 59% were trusted to perform this procedure with direct supervision and coaching, 29% with indirect supervision, and 8% without supervision. There was no association between a student's order of attempting IV access within the group and global rating (p = .41). Students reported increased understanding of indications, antecubital anatomy, sonographic anatomy, and procedural comfort (12%, 29%, 38%, and 65% improvement pre- vs. postmodule, respectively; p < .001). Discussion: Our module enabled more than one-third of fourth-year medical students to achieve an indirect supervision or better level of proficiency in ultrasound-guided IV access, with significant improvements in perceived knowledge. This module may be useful for other educators facilitating the transition to residency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11222
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Clinical Skills Assessment/OSCEs
  • Clinical Teaching/Bedside Teaching
  • Clinical/Procedural Skills Training
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Simulation
  • Ultrasound Skills


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