Utility of a Transesophageal Echocardiographic Simulator as a Teaching Tool

Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia (Impact Factor: 1.46). 10/2010; 25(2):212-5. DOI: 10.1053/j.jvca.2010.08.014
Source: PubMed


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that simulator-based transesophageal echocardiographic training was a more effective method of training anesthesia residents with no prior experience in echocardiography as compared with conventional methods of training (books, articles, and web-based resources).
A prospective randomized study.
An academic medical center (teaching hospital).
The participants consisted of first-year anesthesia residents.
The study design was composed of 2 groups: a control group (group 1, conventional group) and a study group (group 2, simulator group). The residents belonging to group 2 (simulator group) received a 90-minute simulator-based teaching session moderated by a faculty experienced in transesophageal echocardiography. Residents belonging to group 1 (conventional group) were asked to review the guidelines of the comprehensive intraoperative transesophageal echocardiographic examination published by the American Society of Echocardiography and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. They also were encouraged to use other learning resources (eg, textbooks, electronic media, and web-based resources) to understand the underlying concepts of echocardiography. Written pre- and post-test was administered to both groups.
The groups were compared for the pretest scores by the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test. Pre- and post-test scores were compared with a Wilcoxon paired test in the individual groups. The results showed a statistically significant difference between the scores of the 2 groups with better scores in the simulation group in the post-training test.
The simulator-based teaching model for transesophageal echocardiography is a better method of teaching the basic concepts of transesophageal echocardiography like anatomic correlation, structure identification, and image acquisition.

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    • "However, these studies have primarily focussed on image interpretation and not on the technical image quality. Digital simulation has also received some attention, but primarily in the field of trans-oesophageal echocardiography and with focus on technical skills [12,13]. "
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