Manual Skills and Procedures

All students need to demonstrate competency in performing four core procedures on completion of medical school in order to provide basic patient care. These procedures include:

  • Basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Bag and Mask Ventilation
  • Venipuncture
  • Inserting an Intravenous Line

Competency in CPR and bag and mask ventilation should be developed during the basic science years. In addition, students need to be certified in order to perform venipuncture (drawing blood) and IV insertion. This certification needs to be documented in the Patient Encounter Log under procedures (ex. Procedure - Intravenous Insertion). Students must name the physician that certified them (in the comment section) and the date of certification. This certification needs to be done only once and can be done on any service during any rotation. However, the surgery clerkship takes the primary responsibility for this certification. Once certified, students can continue to perform these procedures without additional documentation but always under supervision.

Students should become familiar with other procedures and surgeries and are encouraged to observe or participate in as many as possible.  Faculty can certify students in any number of other procedures.  This documentation does not have to be sent to the medical school but must be kept by the medical student.  All procedures performed by medical students must be done under faculty supervision.

Demonstrating competency in manual skills requires more than just developing a technical skill. A number of overlapping functions contribute to this professional activity. The following is from the AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activity Curriculum referring to procedures:

  • Demonstrate the technical (motor) skills required for the procedure 
  • Understand and explain the anatomy, physiology, indications, risks,  contraindications, benefits, alternatives, and potential complications of the procedure       
  •  Communicate   with the patient/family to ensure pre‚Äďand post- procedure explanation and instructions 
  • Manage post-procedure complications 
  • Demonstrate confidence that puts patients and families at ease