The distracted intravenous access (DIVA) test

Samantha Smith*, Victoria Tallentire, Morwenna Wood, Helen Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The General Medical Council states that all medical graduates must be able to carry out practical procedures, including peripheral venous cannulation, safely and effectively. Teaching and assessments within primary medical training tend to focus on safety rather than 'effectiveness' or technical competence. This study aimed to develop and evaluate a test of automaticity of peripheral venous cannulation skill, appropriate to the level of a medical student. Methods: Two researchers developed the distracted intravenous access (DIVA) test. Three components are assessed simultaneously: ability to cannulate a plastic arm manikin, performance in an arithmetic test and speed of completion. Volunteers were recruited from three groups: novices (fourth-year medical students), intermediates (foundation year-1 doctors) and experts (anaesthetic and emergency medicine consultants and trainees). Immediately following the test, volunteers completed a questionnaire. Results: Mean scores differed between the three groups: novices (47.7%), intermediates (73.4%), experts (84.4%). Differences were statistically significant (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Teacher
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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