Background/context To assess feasibility and difficulties of voluntary training with a validated VRLS in Paediatric Surgery.
Methodology A VRLS was introduced into our Department in 2013. Trainees underwent VRLS induction and they had open access 9–5PM weekdays in our Simulation Centre. We adopted a proficiency based curriculum for laparoscopic basic skills. The simulator’s usage was deemed voluntary. Trainees completed a survey to obtain their feedback about VRLS experience.
Results/outcomes Twenty one trainees were inducted; 95% completed the survey. 60% preferred to use the simulator on their day off; VRLS was considered easy to use and enjoyable (93%), and most felt operative skills improved (93%). If introduced, mandatory training was considered acceptable by most (79%) though a preference for 24h access was identified (93%) as well as protected time (83%). The VRLS was not considered a substitute for operating theatre experience (80%). 60% conveyed a preference for daytime sessions and 40% for afterhours. The VRLS was used for 248 h out of a potential 1280 h over an 8 month period. Reasons stated were lack of protected time (43%), and lack of out of hours availability (57%).
Conclusions and recommendations The VRLS usage was lower than expected (19%). Trainees considered it an effective and enjoyable training tool. Problems identified were lack of protected time during the weekday as well as availability and proximity to the normal working environment. We believe simulation training should be a mandatory aspect of the paediatric surgical working week. Tools such as the VRLS with objective progress feedback should be available 24 h with protected time on a monitored and evaluated structured basis.
Chang L, Petros J, Hess DT, Rotondi C, Babineau TJ. Integrating simulation into a surgical residency program: is voluntary participation effective? Surg Endosc. 2007 ;21(3):418–21
Haluck RS, Satava RM, Fried G, et al. Establishing a simulation center for surgical skills: what to do and how to do it. Surg Endosc 2007 Jul;21(7):1223–32
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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