Impact of an inexpensive anatomy-based fetal pig simulator on obstetric ultrasound training

Ugochi N. Akoma, Kristina M. Shumard, Linda Street, Brian C. Brost, Joshua F. Nitsche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives - The purpose of this study was to construct an inexpensive anatomy-based obstetric ultrasound task trainer and investigate whether introduction of this trainer into a hands-on obstetric ultrasound course improved course participants' ultrasound scanning skills. Methods - The trainer was created by placing fetal pigs into preservative-filled heat-sealed polyethylene bags. Twenty-four participants in an obstetric ultrasound course at Wake Forest School of Medicine were randomized to receive hands-on scanning with pregnant women or hands-on scanning and fetal pig simulation. Biometric scans were performed before and after the course. The time to complete the scans, margin of error of biometric measurements, and number of technically adequate images per scan were compared between groups. Results - Twelve participants were randomized into each group. Although a direct comparison of postcourse biometric scans demonstrated no difference between groups, participants that received simulation training showed significant improvements in the time to complete the biometric scan (P <.05) and number of technically adequate images obtained (P <.05), whereas those who did not receive simulation training did not show significant improvements. Conclusions - Addition of the fetal pig ultrasound task trainer resulted in improvements in the course participants' scanning efficiency even after very limited exposure. Incorporating the task trainer earlier and more broadly into obstetric ultrasound training may benefit trainees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1799
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Fetal ultrasound
  • Obstetric ultrasound
  • Obstetrics
  • Simulation
  • Task trainer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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