HomeGrown Solution: Simulation Belly


Simulation Belly

Submitted By

Katrice Ziefle

HomeGrown Solution Number


Identification of the Problem

The identified problem was lack of realism during an abdominal assessment in simulation. Realistic assessment findings are easier for students to identify the concerning issue and leads to a more effective learning experience. Students are able to acquire the psychomotor skill necessary to conduct an abdominal assessment and the realistic appearance, sound, and feel of the belly assist in connecting classroom learning to clinical practice.

Unique Idea

The simulation belly was designed to replicate the assessment findings of abdominal ascites in appearance, sound, and feel. The ascitic fluid often shifts as the patient moves in bed, sounds like moving water within the abdomen, and feels like fluid on palpation of the abdomen. The belly may be attached using Velcro straps to a mannequin or standardized patient playing the role. The simulation belly may also be used in a postpartum scenario to simulate a firm or boggy uterus after delivery. The realistic appearance, sound and feel of the simulation belly adds to the suspension of disbelief in simulation.


  1. 18 inches of polyester skin colored material (double layer)
  2. 24 inches of adhesive Velcro
  3. One button
  4. Scissors
  5. One gallon size resealable plastic bag
  6. Small resealable plastic bag filled with water
  7. Sewing needle
  8. Thread

Steps to Creating the Solution

  1. Fold material in half with folded side on bottom. Sew left sides and right sides of material together to make a bag, leaving the top open.
  2. Place Velcro vertically on left side of bag. Place four strips or two longer strips of Velcro on right side of bag to make adjustable size. In order to make the Velcro more secure, you may sew it into place.
  3. Sew button on lower center of material (location umbilicus).
  4. Place adhesive Velcro on one gallon size resealable bag. Place opposite side Velcro on inside of belly near the center (umbilicus). Do not sew this Velcro or the sewing portion will be visible on the outside of the belly.
  5. Insert small resealable bag with water into gallon size bag with Velcro for ascites.
  6. Insert half of foam ball as a pregnancy belly. Insert soft ball with batting or soft towel into bag to simulate postpartum belly.
  7. Fill resealable bag and match the Velcro on bag with Velcro inside the belly.
    Apply belly to standardized patient or mannequin.