Use of a human patient simulator for the advanced trauma life support course

Am Surg. 2002 Jul;68(7):648-51.


A highly anticipated and rewarding component of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program is the surgical skill station. Logistic, societal, and economic issues have resulted in development of human patient simulators (HPSs) as an alternative to the animal model. We studied initial student reaction to a simulator designed for this skill station. Fourteen participants in an ATLS Provider course completed the standard surgical skill stations and an experimental station using the Simulab Trauma Man HPS. After completion of the stations the students were asked to complete a 13-point satisfaction survey using a modified Likert scale (1 = strongly negative/dissatisfied, 5 = strongly positive/satisfied). Overall response was favorable. Students found the HPS to be superior to the animal model in teaching surgical airways [mean 3.64; standard deviation (SD) 0.93] and for management of pneumothorax (mean 3.86; SD 0.77). The students felt the HPS would be useful in ATLS and should be included as an option in training (mean 4.07; SD 0.92). Preliminary experience with an interactive HPS to teach the ATLS surgical skill station is well received by students when compared with standard methods. This strong acceptance supports inclusion of simulators in teaching ATLS skills.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Competence
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Educational*
  • Teaching Materials*