OBJECTIVES: Surgical simulation has been used to facilitate the acquisition of vascular surgery skills. However, high cost and limited availability may restrict the use of this educational resource. We report how instruction using a low-cost, pulsatile, carotid endarterectomy (CEA) benchtop surgical simulation model can be used to enhance learners' procedure-specific knowledge, comfort, and confidence in performing the steps of a CEA procedure DESIGN: A single instructor engaged each participant in a one-on-one instructional session during which the instructor demonstrated, and then the participants performed, the steps of a CEA. Participants completed a pre- and postintervention assessment of knowledge and attitudes about preforming a CEA and use of simulation as a learning tool. Postintervention, participants rated the impact of the simulation model on their learning. A Related T-test and Wilcoxin signed Rank Test were used to compare pre- and postintervention results.
SETTINGS: University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.
PARTICIPANTS: Seventeen postgraduate trainees.
RESULTS: A significant difference was observed in pre- and postknowledge scores (48% vs 91% correct, p < 0.01). Trainee confidence (1.65 vs 2.88, p < 0.01) and comfort (1.59 vs 2.82, p < 0.01) with doing the procedure also increased significantly. Sixteen (94%) responded that use of the simulator was extremely or very important as a tool for learning. All 17 trainees (100%) reported that the simulation experience was either essential or very useful in helping them learn how to perform a CEA. Sixty-five percent responded that they were extremely likely to apply the skills learned during the intervention the next time they performed a CEA.
CONCLUSIONS: A low-cost, pulsatile CEA simulation model used as an educational tool increased procedure-specific knowledge, comfort, and confidence among trainees. Learner's increased confidence and affirmation that they are likely to apply the learned skills in a clinical setting support the use of this educational approach to impact trainee behaviors.
Keywords: CEA resident education simulation vascular surgery