The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies stress nontechnical skills that can be difficult to evaluate and teach to surgical residents. During emergencies, surgeons work in interprofessional teams and are required to perform certain procedures. To obtain proficiency in these skills, residents must be trained.
To educate surgical residents in leadership, teamwork, effective communication, and infrequently performed emergency surgical procedures with the use of interprofessional simulations.
Design, Setting, and Participants
SimMan 3GS was used to simulate high-risk clinical scenarios (15-20 minutes), followed by debriefings with real-time feedback (30 minutes). A modified Oxford Non-Technical Skills scale (score range, 1-4) was used to assess surgical resident performance during the first half of the academic year (July-December 2012) and the second half of the academic year (January-June 2013). Anonymous online surveys were used to solicit participant feedback. Simulations were conducted in the operating room, intensive care unit, emergency department, ward, and simulation center. A total of 43 surgical residents (postgraduate years [PGYs] 1 and 2) participated in interdisciplinary clinical scenarios, with other health care professionals (nursing, anesthesia, critical care, medicine, respiratory therapy, and pharmacy; mean number of nonsurgical participants/session: 4, range 0-9). Thirty seven surgical residents responded to the survey.
Simulation of high-risk clinical scenarios: postoperative pulmonary embolus, pneumothorax, myocardial infarction, gastrointestinal bleeding, anaphylaxis with a difficult airway, and pulseless electrical activity arrest.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Evaluation of resident skills: communication, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, situation awareness, and confidence in performing emergency procedures (eg, cricothyroidotomy).
A total of 31 of 35 (89%) of the residents responding found the sessions useful. Additionally, 28 of 33 (85%) reported improved confidence doing procedures and 29 of 37 (78%) reported knowing when the procedure should be applied. Oxford Non-Technical Skills evaluation demonstrated significant improvement in PGY 2 resident performance assessed during the 2 study periods: communication score increased from 3 to 3.71 (P = .01), leadership score increased from 2.77 to 3.86 (P < .001), teamwork score increased from 3.15 to 3.86 (P = .007), and procedural ability score increased from 2.23 to 3.43 (P = .03). There were no statistically significant improved scores in PGY 2 decision making or situation awareness. No improvements in skills were seen among PGY 1 participants.
Conclusions and Relevance
The PGY 2 residents improved their skills, but the PGY 1 residents did not. Participants found interprofessional simulations to be realistic and a valuable educational tool. Interprofessional simulation provides a valuable means of educating surgical residents and evaluating their skills in real-life clinical scenarios.