gms | German Medical Science

4th InVeST – International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference

14.09. - 16.09.2015, Hannover

Validating the use of low-cost simulation models and online instructional modules to teach asepsis

Meeting Abstract

InVeST 2015: International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference. Hannover, 14.-16.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15invest12

doi: 10.3205/15invest12, urn:nbn:de:0183-15invest121

Published: September 10, 2015

© 2015 Motta et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Surgery site infections (SSIs) account for up to 18% of all small animal surgery complications. In order to minimize microbial contamination, several aseptic techniques have been developed. Although asepsis is essential in preventing SSIs, most students still struggle with mastering aseptic technique. The goals of this study were: (1) to develop a low-cost asepsis simulation model; (2) to develop detailed asepsis instructional modules; (3) to validate the newly developed teaching tool through student performance. We hypothesized that the use of low-cost simulators associated with instructional modules will improve students’ proficiency in asepsis.

An asepsis simulation model was created. Each model included: sterile gloves, surgery gown, scrub brush, skin simulator, draping materials, and surgical site preparation solutions. Instructional video modules demonstrating each of the aseptic techniques were created. The modules included: open gloving, sterile patient preparation, aseptic hand scrubbing, gowning, closed gloving, and patient draping. Thirty volunteers were randomly assigned into 2 groups: simulation or control group. All volunteers were first or second year veterinary students with limited or no experience on asepsis. Each volunteer attended a lecture and an in-person demonstration of each technique. Students in the control group had no additional instruction or materials. Students in the simulation group received a simulation model and were given access to the instructional videos. All students demonstrated their proficiency by aseptically preparing themselves and a canine cadaver for surgery. Each student's aseptic and patient preparation were video recorded and are being evaluated by three faculty members.

Results from the quiz were not significantly different between the simulator (94.4%) and the control (91.7%) groups. Questionnaire data revealed that students in the simulator group invested an average of 5.4h preparing for the procedure. Furthermore, 1.9 hours were invested practicing with the simulators. This contrasts with the total of 2.5 hours invested by students in the control group (Figure 1 [Fig. 1]). Direct demonstration from the instructor was considered the most useful teaching aid by 86% of the students (Figure 2 [Fig. 2]). Amongst all teaching aids used, 100% of the students listed the videos as helpful. Podcast and handouts were considered not helpful by 36% and 29% of the students, respectively (Figure 3 [Fig. 3]). Grading of student’s proficiency is ongoing. We expect to confirm our hypothesis, that the use of instructional video modules, in addition to low-cost simulation models will increase student proficiency and confidence in asepsis.


Anderson ME, Foster BA, Weese JS. Observational study of patient and surgeon preoperative preparation in ten companion animal clinics in Ontario, Canada. BMC Vet Res. 2013 Oct 5;9:194. DOI: 10.1186/1746-6148-9-194 External link