Port-a-cath Trainer

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  • Title

    Port-a-cath Trainer

  • Submitted By

    Chassity Mays and Ryan Stambro
  • HomeGrown Solution Number

  • Identification of the Problem

    Patient safety relies on effective training of healthcare providers. A nurse educator wanted to train new hire system nurses on the proper way to care for a patient with a port-a-cath. Our institution did not own a port-a-cath trainer. The commercially available port-a-cath trainers are expensive, while this low-cost solution is easily reproducible at minimal costs and can be used repetitively.

  • Unique Idea

    This homemade trainer allows learners to access a port, draw back to check for appropriate placement with blood return, push fluids when the port is accessed, and apply sterile dressings.

  • Objectives

    • To create a low-cost and easy replicated trainer for use in simulation education when performing port-a-cath access and care.
  • Supplies/Ingredients

    • Hospital bath basin or some kind of plastic box
    • Port-a-cath and line
    • Binder clips
    • Simulated skin
    • IV bag with blood colored fluid
    • Standard IV and silicone tubing 0.25"
    • Pressure bag
    • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
    • Heat gun
    • Heat shrinkable tubing 0.5" in diameter
  • Steps to Creating the Solution

    • Connect the port to the port tubing via manufacturer guidelines. Cut the port tubing to the desired length. We cut ours shorter because it is used with a tabletop IV stand.
    • Insert the port tubing into the silicone tubing and use the heat gun and heat shrink tubing to seal it.
    • Cut a small square into the bath basin. This should be in the upper half of the basin and centered. This square is where the port tubing will be ran through.
    • Glue the port to the bath basin above the square that was just cut, and run the tubing through the hole to the other side.
    • Insert the IV tubing that is spiked into the IV bag with blood colored solution.
    • Place the IV bag on an IV pole. Place a pressure bag and inflate. Prime the tubing so that fluid is ready to be drawn back when access needle is placed.
    • Take the simulated skin and cover the bath basin and port. Pull tight and secure with binder clips.
    • The port is now ready to be accessed, flushed, and have sterile dressings placed and changed.

    View a PDF of the steps with photos.


  • Port-a-cath 1
  • Port-a-cath 2
  • Port-a-cath 3