Anaesthesia, critical care & pain medicine 2017 01 18() pii S2352-5568(16)30114-X
Peripheral venous catheter insertion is a procedural skill that every medical student should master. Training is often limited to a small number of students and is poorly evaluated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of peer-assisted learning in comparison to instructor-led teaching for peripheral venous catheter insertion training.
Students were randomized to the control group attending a traditional instructor-led training session (slideshow and demonstration by an anaesthetist instructor, followed by training on a procedural simulator) or to the test group attending a peer-assisted training session (slideshow and demonstration video-recorded by the same instructor, followed by training on a procedural simulator. The primary endpoint was the performance of peripheral venous catheter insertion, assessed on procedural simulator one week later by blinded experts using a standardized 20-item grid. Students self-evaluated their confidence levels using a numeric 10-point scale.
86 students were included, 73 of whom attended the assessment session. The median performance score was 12/20 [8 – 15] in the instructor-led teaching group versus 13/20 [11 – 15] in the peer-assisted learning group (p = 0.430). Confidence levels improved significantly after the assessment session and were significantly higher in the peer-assisted learning group (7.6/10 [7.0 – 8.0] versus 7.0/10 [5.0 – 8.0], p = 0.026).
Peer-assisted learning is effective for peripheral venous catheter insertion training and can be as effective instructor-led teaching. Given the large number of students to train, this finding is important for optimizing the cost-effectiveness of peripheral venous catheter insertion training.