Training Drills


  1. Indication: The purpose of this drill is to train the learner to keep their non-dominant hand on the surface of the patient/mannequin, especially when the dominant hand is performing a second task. This error is noted by many senior providers of most juniors – desynchrony of left and right hand – often felt triggered by a floating non-dominant hand.

  1. Equipment:

    1. Ultrasound machine w/ linear probe

    2. Phantom & volunteer neck

    3. Pen and Paper

    4. Video camera or phone

  1. Instructions

    1. Direct the learner to identify the vessels of interest in cross section (short axis) and long access – directing the findings to the educator. Once the learner is able to demonstrate both views, ask them to focus on the cross sectional view.

    2. In the cross sectional view – hand the learner a pen & paper. Ask them to draw the screen as a rectangle, and then vessels exactly as they appear in the screen. Once they have started to apply a fixed reference (the frame and the vessels) – ask them to label all the dimensions.

      1. Depth to the vessels, diameter of each vessel, distance to bottom of screen, left and right distances to edge of screen, and distance between vessels (when in doubt ask them to measure and label everything

        1. An inexperienced user will float their non-dominant hand around and lose the fixed point of reference – having to change their dimensions

        2. The goal is to demonstrate their error in an obvious and self-identifying method – they have to take note of it

          1. You should also video tape their hands during this drill and review it with them afterwards especially if they are unaware of the error. You should not identify it for them

        3. Next ask the learner to ultrasound their own neck, short axis identification of the carotid/IJ & ask them to repeat the task while standing up and writing on the desk.

          1. This method is uncomfortable, and will exaggerate any error, again which you can capture on video tape.