Training in and assessment of the procedural skills required to perform peripheral nerve blockade

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Sultan, Syed Farjad
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University College Cork
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The training and ongoing education of medical practitioners has undergone major changes in an incremental fashion over the past 15 years. These changes have been driven by patient safety, educational, economic and legislative/regulatory factors. In the near future, training in procedural skills will undergo a paradigm shift to proficiency based progression with associated requirements for competence-based programmes, valid, reliable assessment tools and simulation technology. Before training begins, the learning outcomes require clear definition; any form of assessment applied should include measurement of these outcomes. Currently training in a procedural skill often takes place on an ad hoc basis. The number of attempts necessary to attain a defined degree of proficiency varies from procedure to procedure. Convincing evidence exists that simulation training helps trainees to acquire skills more efficiently rather than relying on opportunities in their clinical practice. Simulation provides a safe, stress free environment for trainees for skill acquisition, generalization and transfer via deliberate practice. The work described in this thesis contributes to a greater understanding of how medical procedures can be performed more safely and effectively through education. The effect of feedback, provided to novices in a standardized setting on a bench model, based on knowledge of performance was associated with an increase in the speed of skill acquisition and a decrease in error rate during initial learning. The timing of feedback was also associated with effective learning of skill. A marked attrition of skills (independent of the type of feedback provided) was demonstrable 24 hrs after they have first been learned. Using the principles of feedback as described above, when studying the effect of an intense training program on novices of varied years of experience in anaesthesia (i.e. the present training programmes / courses of an intense training day for one or more procedures). There was a marked attrition of skill at 24 hours with a significant correlation with increasing years of experience; there also appeared to be an inverse relationship between years of experience in anaesthesia and performance. The greater the number of years of practice experience, the longer it required a learner to acquire a new skill. The findings of the studies described in this thesis may have important implications for the trainers, trainees and training bodies in the design and implementation of training courses and the formats of delivery of changing curricula. Both curricula and training modalities will need to take account of characteristics of individual learners and the dynamic nature of procedural healthcare.
Training , Assessment , Novice , Regional anaesthesia , Procedural skills
Sultan, S. F. 2013. Training in and assessment of the procedural skills required to perform peripheral nerve blockade. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.