gms | German Medical Science

4th InVeST – International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference

14.09. - 16.09.2015, Hannover

The use of a life-size simulator to teach venipuncture in the alpaca

Meeting Abstract

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InVeST 2015: International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference. Hannover, 14.-16.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15invest11

doi: 10.3205/15invest11, urn:nbn:de:0183-15invest115

Veröffentlicht: 10. September 2015

© 2015 Schleining et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Anatomic differences in camelids increases the likelihood of accidental carotid artery puncture, which can lead to complications producing seizures or even death. Because of this, practitioners not properly trained in venipuncture techniques in camelids are often apprehensive with this clinical skill. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of a life-size alpaca simulator [Alpaca Venipuncture Model, Alternavitae, LLC, Columbus, Ohio] on the ability to perform venipuncture in the live animal. We hypothesized that students who were trained on an alpaca simulator to correctly identify appropriate landmarks and perform venipuncture would perform better than students who were trained with a PowerPoint presentation showing the same information. Veterinary students enrolled in small ruminant lab courses at Iowa State University were randomly assigned to either a simulator laboratory for venipuncture in alpacas or a PowerPoint module. Prior to instruction students completed a questionnaire relating to attitudes about venipuncture in camelids. Following instruction, students performed venipuncture on live animals, objective venipuncture data was obtained, and a follow up questionnaire was completed. Seventy one (n=71) students have completed the study to date. Students trained on the alpaca simulator considered their instructional method to be both more helpful (p≤0.001) and more real (p<0.0005). Students trained via PowerPoint obtained blood with fewer attempts (1.4 versus 2.1; p=0.026). Other objective measures were not significantly different between the groups. In summary, training on an alpaca venipuncture simulation model prior to performing venipuncture in the live animal provided professional veterinary students with an increased level of confidence, but did not improve performance with a live animal. Based on this data, this ongoing study was modified to include a third group with instruction utilizing both the simulator and PowerPoint module. Data utilizing the third group is not collated at the time of abstract submission, but will be presented at the symposium.