Peter C. Liacouras PhD, Director of Services, 3D Medical Applications Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Department of Radiology
Task trainers, which are models of variable fidelity designed to simulate performance of a specific procedural skill, are often utilized in medical simulation. However, these skills-specific models can be costly and are limited by market availability. Once the digital starting point and purpose of the simulation model is clearly defined, additional modeling and design is necessary to incorporate all aspects of the simulation. When complete, 3D printing is used to create parts of the models directly and/or used to create tools for silicone molding. In many cases 3D printed parts, silicone rubber, and commonly available hardware supplies are combined to create the final realistic model. Task trainers have been designed for procedures including: removal of ocular foreign bodies, ultrasound-guided joint injections, nerve block injections, and various suturing and reconstruction procedures. These task trainers have been frequently utilized in the delivery of simulation-based training, and demand for additional skills-specific task trainers continues to grow amongst our customer base. Production cost ranges in the hundreds of dollars, far less than the average price of a comparable simulation model, if available. Our goal is to incorporate these task trainers into relevant curricula in support of our medical training programs.