Background The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) introduced a simulated laser skills course at its recent Annual Congress in May, reflecting requirements for laser skills in its training curriculum (RCOphth 2014). In preparation for this course, a new simulated target for laser was developed (based on an original suggestion by Mr Benjamin), which is relatively low cost and adaptable for specific eye diseases.
Methods Glassless 35mm photographic slides are attached to portable low cost battery operated viewers. The slide viewers are attached to standard medical laser devices. Whilst with real patients, contact lenses are used for fundus visualisation, with slides laser is applied directly. The settings required to create a visible burn on the slide are low compared with those typically used in vivo. At RCOphth Congress, a laser safety compliant training environment was created, however, due to their simplicity and portability, these devices can be used in situ within eye clinic laser rooms.
Results 24 delegates used the 35mm slide simulated targets for treating an anterior chamber angle with a Selective laser trabeculoplasty laser and retinal images on 3 different frequency-doubled nd:YAGlaser machines. The resultant slides have been retained, and show clear uptake of laser energy in the pattern applied.
Potential impacts As slides are simple, relatively cheap and images on them can be varied, trainees can learn to treat a variety of retinal lesions in a safe environment. Sslides can be scanned (or projected) to allow concurrent viewing by trainee, trainer and peers, facilitating discussion and allowing effective teaching. The use of slides lends itself to validity assessment, as slides can be graded for quality of treatment by multiple observers for a single episode of training and treatment can be repeated by the same trainee on different occasions. This validity assessment is in development by the authors.
RCOphth (2014) Curriculum for Ophthalmic Specialist Training RCOphth, London http://curriculum.rcophth.ac.uk/study-guide/surgical_skills accessed on 13/06/2014
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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