CathSim Intravenous Simulator
The CathSim IV Trainer uses virtual reality-based patients to teach intravenous catheterization. There is also a haptic element to the simulation, in order for the trainees to feel the "pop" as the catheter pierces the vein wall.
The simulator has modules for adult, geriatric, and pediatric catheterizations, as well as phlebotomy. Each module has multiple cases, so a trainee can practice on different patients, each with their own specific set of problems. For example, one patient may have a blown vein and requires a second catheter placed higher up on the arm. Another patient is in wrist restraints, and therefore has limited options for catheter location.
Educational information comes in several forms. The first content that the trainees are exposed to is a preprocedure video describing the preparatory steps, including verification of the correct patient. Then the simulation starts, and the trainee gets real time feedback from the program and from the patient. The program gives information regarding choice of catheter size and order of procedure steps. The patient feedback consists of the patient responding verbally to the procedure and the level of discomfort it produces. There is also a flashback if cannulation is successful. Examples of error messages include a reminder to never recannulate a needle and comments on the choice of catheter location (given the patient's condition and intravenous therapy requirements).
After the procedure additional educational material is presented, including how to secure the catheter in place. Then the trainee receives feedback on the catheterization itself. The feedback takes into account the obvious areas, such as whether the catheterization was successful and how much discomfort the patient experienced. The simulator also keeps track and reports back items such as the length of time the tourniquet was on, and whether the trainee started the IV within the area they cleaned. As in the other virtual reality trainers, this feedback is stored for the trainee, so that trends in performance can be observed.