A comprehensive description of the competencies required for the performance of an ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade
University College Cork
We addressed four research questions, each relating to the training and assessment of the competencies associated with the performance of ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade (USgABPB). These were: (i) What are the most important determinants of learning of USgABPB? (ii) What is USgABPB? What are the errors most likely to occur when trainees learn to perform this procedure? (iii) How should end-user input be applied to the development of a novel USgABPB simulator? (iv) Does structured simulation based training influence novice learning of the procedure positively? We demonstrated that the most important determinants of learning USgABPB are: (a) Access to a formal structured training programme. (b) Frequent exposure to clinical learning opportunity in an appropriate setting (c) A clinical learning opporunity requires an appropriate patient, trainee and teacher being present at the same time, in an appropriate environment. We carried out a comprehensive description of the procedure. We performed a formal task analysis of USgABPB, identifying (i) 256 specific tasks associated with the safe and effective performance of the procedure, and (ii) the 20 most critical errors likely to occur in this setting. We described a methodology for this and collected data based on detailed, sequential evaluation of prototypes by trainees in anaesthesia. We carried out a pilot randomised control trial assessing the effectiveness of a USgABPB simulator during its development. Our data did not enable us to draw a reliable conclusion to this question; the trail did provide important new learning (as a pilot) to inform future investigation of this question. We believe that the ultimate goal of designing effective simulation-based training and assessment of ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia is closer to realisation as a result of this work. It remains to be proven if this approach will have a positive impact on procedural performance, and more importantly improve patient outcomes.
Anaesthesia , Technology enhanced learning
O'Sullivan, O. 2014. A comprehensive description of the competencies required for the performance of an ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.