Task Specific Trainer
The purpose of a task trainer is to break down a physical task into easy to grasp pieces of information and allow repeated practice of that task in a low stress environment. This allows the task to be the only focal point, without distraction.
The ability to slow down a task or stop and restart it at any stage enables the educator to give instruction, background, or helpful hints as the task is being performed. Some of the models also give limited real time feedback on the quality and outcome of the attempted procedure.
A part task trainer can be a "body part" which approximates human anatomy. It can also be a non-anatomic trainer that uses mechanics or other means to introduce biological concepts.
A partial list of models available in the lab.
Full body manikin
This manikin is used for airway practice and CPR. The chest opens to detect movement in two "lungs". It can also be used to teach BLS or portions of ACLS. An EKG generator can be connected to the manikin's back and EKG leads hooked up to the chest to send signals to a monitor for dysrhythmia interpretation.
There are several intubation models: adults, pediatrics, and neonates. All have correct upper airway anatomy and an esophagus. Mainstem, nasal and esophageal intubations can be demonstrated effectively. The adult models are also capable of demonstrating the value of cricoid pressure by allowing stomach contents to be expelled. One adult has a bronchial tree that replaces the lungs, so that some bronchial teaching can be done, such as unilateral lung ventilation.
Chest IV Model
The chest model is designed to demonstrate anatomic landmarks for a number of invasive procedures involving the arteries and veins of the neck and upper chest. A central line can be established using either the external jugular or subclavian vein. Although the model lacks the anatomy of the heart for floating a Swan Ganz catheter, the initial steps of catheter insertion can be practiced.
Airway TripodSome models do not require an anatomic shape to meet their teaching objectives. One example is the lung tripod. It consists of a single bellows attached to a pressure gauge. Variables to be altered include a spring attachment to decrease compliance and a valve to alter resistance. Having a purely mechanical model enables the trainees to note the pressure gauge changes, feel the difference in the ambu bag, and see the filling and emptying times change, all without getting distracted by the "human" details.
Training and Test Lung
Another example is the Michigan Instruments lung model. This is a dual bellows setup attached to a computer screen. It graphs in real time the changing pressures and volumes as the trainee ventilates the patient. The readout also gives numeric values for parameters such as tidal volume, minute ventilation, inspiratory and expiratory times, and peak airway pressure. Trainees can adjust their bagging method and get immediate feedback on their technique.