Original Article

Perspectives on Medical Education

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 204-218

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Task analysis method for procedural training curriculum development

  • Jakeb D. RiggleAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska – LincolnUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
  • , Michael C. WadmanAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
  • , Bernadette McCroryAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska – LincolnUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
  • , Bethany R. LowndesAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska – LincolnMayo Clinic
  • , Elizabeth A. HealdAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • , Patricia K. CarstensAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
  • , M. Susan HallbeckAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska – LincolnUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterMayo Clinic Email author 


A central venous catheter (CVC) is an important medical tool used in critical care and emergent situations. Integral to proper care in many circumstances, insertion of a CVC introduces the risk of central line-associated blood stream infections and mechanical adverse events; proper training is important for safe CVC insertion. Cognitive task analysis (CTA) methods have been successfully implemented in the medical field to improve the training of postgraduate medical trainees, but can be very time-consuming to complete and require a significant time commitment from many subject matter experts (SMEs). Many medical procedures such as CVC insertion are linear processes with well-documented procedural steps. These linear procedures may not require a traditional CTA to gather the information necessary to create a training curriculum. Accordingly, a novel, streamlined CTA method designed primarily to collect cognitive cues for linear procedures was developed to be used by medical professionals with minimal CTA training. This new CTA methodology required fewer trained personnel, fewer interview sessions, and less time commitment from SMEs than a traditional CTA. Based on this study, a streamlined CTA methodology can be used to efficiently gather cognitive information on linear medical procedures for the creation of resident training curricula and procedural skills assessments.


Cognitive task analysis Task analysis Training Procedures Central venous catheter (CVC)