University of Pittsburgh


Introduction to Patient Care

Clinical Procedures

February 26, 2019-March 21, 2019
4 sessions

Course Director
Rita M. Patel, MD
Department of Anesthesiology


Course Director
Ryan Romeo, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Anesthesiology


Course Description

The course is comprised of four sessions, each addressing different clinical procedures:

  1. respiratory assessment, respiratory therapy, pediatric and adult airway management, and chest x-ray;
  2. introduction to invasive hemodynamic monitoring and arterial puncture;
  3. IV placement;
  4. potpourri (lumbar puncture, urinary catheter insertion, nasogastric tube insertion).

The goals of the course are:

  1. to introduce students to some of the basic diagnostic and therapeutic invasive and noninvasive procedures that they may perform on patients while on their clinical rotations;
  2. to allow students the opportunity to practice basic clinical procedures in a laboratory setting, using universal precautions, prior to attempting the procedure on actual patients;
  3. to familiarize students with the indications, complications and interpretations associated with the various clinical procedures that they will perform.

Recurrent themes during each session, and for the course, are the approach to the patient, assessment of the clinical requirement, and treatment as necessary. For example, the clinical situation of a patient with respiratory distress would involve recognizing respiratory distress (airway session), starting an intravenous line (vascular access session), and following with appropriate treatment such as mask ventilation, intubation, arterial line placement (invasive monitoring session).

The 69 faculty are from the Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Medicine, and Urology.

Educational Methods

Most sessions consist of small group (8–20 students in each group) interactive teaching stations, workshops, or discussions. During these sessions, students get direct hands-on experience performing procedures such as starting IVs on other students. Students also perform procedures using task trainers, including arterial puncture, lumbar puncture, intubation, and ventilation. There are discussions of clinical situations (respiratory assessment), exposure to diagnostic tools (chest radiography), and experience managing situations using high fidelity simulation (WISER Center).


Demonstrations Discussions Workshops Lectures
Clinical procedural-skills development High fidelity simulation Task trainers Slides and videotapes



Attendance is required at all sessions. Students are evaluated on their performance in each session, using a checklist pertinent to the objective(s) of that session. Students also complete a brief quiz at each session. A summative examination is given at the end of the course.

Grading: Students are required to pass this course to pass the Introduction to Patient Care Block, Section 4. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director Rita M. Patel, MD, is a recipient of the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education. Phillip Lamberty, MD, is a recipient of the William I. Cohen Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills Instruction. Ankur Doshi, MD is a recipient of the Donald S. Fraley Award for Medical Student Mentoring. Jason Chang, MD received the Outstanding Mini-Elective Award. In addition, Rita Patel, MD; William McIvor, MD; and Ankur Doshi, MD are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.