Realism of procedural task trainers in a pediatric emergency medicine procedures course


  • Allan Shefrin University of Ottawa
  • Afshin Khazei University of British Columbia
  • Adam Cheng University of Calgary



Realism, Task Training, Simulation


Background: Pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians have minimal experience in life saving procedures and have turned to task trainers to learn these skills. Realism of these models is an important consideration that has received little study.

Method: PEM physicians and trainees participated in a day long procedural training course that utilized commercially available and homemade task trainers to teach pericardiocentesis, chest tube insertion, cricothyroidotomy and central line insertion. Participants rated the realism of the task trainers as part of a post-course survey.

Results: The homemade task trainers received variable realism ratings, with 91% of participants rating the pork rib chest tube model as realistic, 82% rating the gelatin pericardiocentesis mold as realistic and 36% rating the ventilator tubing cricothyroidotomy model as realistic. Commercial trainers also received variable ratings, with 45% rating the chest drain and pericardiocentesis simulator as realistic, 74% rating the crichotracheotomy trainer as realistic and 80% rating the central line insertion trainer as realistic.

Conclusions: Task training models utilized in our course received variable realism ratings. When deciding what type of task trainer to use future courses should carefully consider the desired aspect of realism, and how it aligns with the procedural skill, balanced with cost considerations.

Author Biographies

Allan Shefrin, University of Ottawa

Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa

Divsion of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Afshin Khazei, University of British Columbia

Division of Emergency Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital

Adam Cheng, University of Calgary

Co-director KidSIM-ASPIRE Simulation Research Program, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Alberta Children’s Hospital,




How to Cite

Shefrin A, Khazei A, Cheng A. Realism of procedural task trainers in a pediatric emergency medicine procedures course. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2015 Apr. 20 [cited 2022 Aug. 13];6(1):e68-e73. Available from:



Brief Reports