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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Homemade, Cost-Effective, Realistic Pelvic Exam Model

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Learning Objectives: The learning objectives of this innovation is to provide a pelvic examination model to effectively and safely provide training to residents, medical students and mid-level providers in a controlled and safe environment prior to attempting the invasive examination on patients.

Introduction: Pelvic examinations are essential components to clinical practice but are challenging to teach, learn and practice on live patients secondary to patient comfort as this can be an invasive procedure. Resident physicians traditionally learn these methods through observation while actively working in the department. Simulation models can improve a provider’s competency and confidence performing pelvic examinations which improve patient comfort and exam accuracy. A barrier to simulation training is the cost of the pelvic simulator models. The average cost is around $1000. The cost is high which limits the availability of a simulation model accessible to residency programs across the country. This barrier to pelvic models was overcome by developing a homemade alternative for cervical examination. The model can be easily manufactured for less than $20 and two hours of manufacturing time.

Educational Objectives: Effectively train residents, medical students and mid-level providers the proper technique to perform a pelvic examination in the comfort of a simulation center prior to attempting the procedure on a patient.

Curricular Design: Learning the proper technique and skill to perform a complete and comfortable exam can be challenging for incoming residents. Therefore, appropriate training in a simulated environment is important. This is a guide to utilizing supplies from a local dollar store combined with home recycling products and a few common crafting tools. This model was created in an effort to allow for creation of an inexpensive, effective pelvic examination model for learners to become comfortable with the procedure prior to patient exposure and to ensure the comfort and accuracy of the examination.

Impact: Our model was compared side by side to a manufactured Clinical Female Pelvic Trainer by our residents during a simulation lab. The consensus found our homemade model to be comparable to the feel of a pelvic/cervical exam.

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