Practice airway access and PICC insertion at Internal Medicine 2010

New hands-on training opportunities are ideal for hospitalists.

Whether they're going eye-to-eye with a disembodied head or opening the airway of a mannequin, hospitalists attending Internal Medicine 2010 will find a number of opportunities for hands-on training.

The Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center, an annual feature of the meeting, includes several new activities this year that target inpatient practice.

William Schweickert MD left instructs about soft tissue injection at the Herbert S Waxman Clinical Skills Center during Internal Medicine 2009
William Schweickert, MD, (left) instructs about soft tissue injection at the Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center during Internal Medicine 2009.

Hospitalists and physicians in training will be the likely attendees of a new workshop on advanced airway techniques, according to Patrick Alguire, FACP, director of education and career development for ACP. Participants will practice intubation on mannequins and learn the advantages and disadvantages of rapid sequence intubation. They'll also pick up rescue techniques in the event of failed intubation.

“They practice over and over and get expert advice,” said Dr. Alguire. “I anticipate it's going to be a real success.”

Two other inpatient procedures were added to the center's roster this year. A lumbar puncture training exercise will include demonstration, practice on a simulator and expert feedback. The new peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) activity will give physicians the chance to practice placement of PICC lines, using simulators and hand-carried ultrasounds.

Both inpatient and outpatient clinicians—but especially educators—may want to attend the debut of the ophthalmology station, an educational resource developed in-house by ACP. “This is our first foray into making our own simulator,” said Dr. Alguire.

The activity consists of mannequin heads (like those used in wig stores) with models of the human eye implanted in them. “We've done a little surgery on the mannequin heads,” quipped Dr. Alguire. Participants will use ophthalmoscopes to view various abnormalities of the eye.

The exhibit may provide ideas for educators wanting to create simulators for their own institutions, suggested Dr. Alguire. They'll have plenty of time to admire the handiwork, because the ophthalmology activity is self-guided. “You can sit there and stare as long as you want,” said Dr. Alguire. “This is a low-pressure way to learn.”

Because it's self-guided, the ophthalmology activity doesn't require tickets. The other activities do, but tickets are free and can be obtained on-site at the meeting.

Old favorites will also be returning to the Waxman Clinical Skills Center this year, including abscess drainage, Harvey the cardiopulmonary patient, and the self-guided cardiac murmurs tour.