Long-term retention of central venous catheter insertion skills after simulation-based mastery learning

Acad Med. 2010 Oct;85(10 Suppl):S9-12. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181ed436c.


Background: Simulation-based mastery learning (SBML) of central venous catheter (CVC) insertion improves trainee skill and patient care. How long skills are retained is unknown.

Method: This is a prospective cohort study. Subjects completed SBML and were required to meet or exceed a minimum passing score (MPS) for CVC insertion on a posttest. Skills were retested 6 and 12 months later and compared with posttest results to assess skill retention.

Results: Forty-nine of 61 (80.3%) subjects completed follow-up testing. Although performance declined from posttest where 100% met the MPS for CVC insertion, 82.4% to 87.1% of trainees passed the exam and maintained their high performance up to one year after training.

Conclusions: Skills acquired from SBML were substantially retained during one year. Individual performance cannot be predicted, so programs should use periodic testing and refresher training to ensure competence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / standards*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Jugular Veins
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Subclavian Vein
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional