Impact of reduced working time on surgical training in the United Kingdom and Ireland
The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) 48 h working week has been law in European countries since 1998. A phased approach to implementation was agreed for doctors in training, which steadily brought down working hours to 58 in 2004, 56 in 2007 and 48 in 2009. Medical trainees can "opt out" to a 54 h working week but this has to be voluntary and rotas cannot be constructed that assume an opt out is taking place. A key component of the working week arrangements is that the maximum period of work for a resident doctor without rest is 13 h. Shorter sessions of work have led to complex rotas, frequent handovers with difficulties maintaining continuity of care with implications for patient safety. Although there has been over 10 years notice of the changes to the working week and progress has up to now been reasonable (helped, in part by a steady increase in consultant numbers) this latest reduction from 56 h to 48 h seems to have been the most difficult to manage.
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- "Without compensating for residents' working hours, a new 'resident law' cannot be stabilized soon. Besides compensating for working hours, reduced working time for surgical training in the United Kingdom and Ireland may have negative effects on the continuous observation and consistent care of surgical patients. Training quality is another point to consider when residents' on-duty hours are reduced. "
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ABSTRACT: Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is a safe approach for cholecystectomy, with the potential to minimise the iatrogenic trauma sustained from the operation. However, a number of reports show SILS to be technically challenging and as such there is expected to be a significant learning curve for expert surgeons adopting the new technique, as well as for junior surgical trainees. There are inherent risks to patient safety associated with practicing and developing new skills in a real-life theatre environment. However, thus far, there have been no realistic SILS training models available. We tested the feasibility of conducting SILS cholecystectomies on a cadaveric porcine model with standard operating equipment, which may provide a platform to facilitate safe training and assessment protocols. In this paper we provide an account of the training model technique, and review the literature surrounding SILS training and performance evaluation.
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ABSTRACT: Human cadaveric tissue is the fundamental substrate for basic anatomic and surgical skills training. A qualitative assessment of the use of human cadavers preserved by Thiel's method for a British Association of Urological Surgeons-approved, advanced laparoscopic renal resection skills training course is described in the present study. Four trainees and four experienced laparoscopic surgeons participated in the course. All participants completed a five-point Likert scale satisfaction questionnaire after their training sessions. The quality of cadaveric tissue and the training session were assessed with particular emphasis placed on the ease of patient positioning, the ease of trocar placement, the preservation of tissue planes, the ease of renal pedicle dissection, and the quality of tissue preservation. All of the participants highly rated the quality of the cadaveric tissue embalmed by Thiel's method (mean scores for quality on the five-point Likert scale were 4.5 and 4.3 by the trainees and experienced laparoscopic surgeons, respectively). All of the steps of laparoscopic renal resection were rated 4.0 or more on the Likert scale by both trainees and faculty members. The initial response rates for using a human cadaver embalmed by Thiel's method as a training tool for laparoscopic nephrectomy showed encouraging results. The performance of a laparoscopic nephrectomy on a human cadaver embalmed by Thiel's method bears close resemblance to real laparoscopic nephrectomy procedures, and thus demonstrates added advantages to the previously reported models.
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