Simulation-based flexible ureteroscopy training using a novel ureteroscopy part-task trainer
Introduction: Simulation-based training (SBT) is being increasingly used for novice trainees as a means of overcoming the early learning curve associated with new surgical skills. We designed a SBT flexible ureteroscopy (fURS) course using a novel inanimate training model (Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN; URS model). We evaluated the course and validated this Cook URS model.
Methods: A 2-week SBT fURS course was designed for junior level urology trainees at 2 Canadian universities. The curriculum included didactic lectures, hands-on training, independent training sessions with expert feedback, and use of the Cook URS parttask model. Baseline and post-course assessments of trainee fURS skills were conducted using a standardized test task (fURS with basket manipulation of a calyceal stone). Performances were videorecorded and reviewed by 2 blinded experts using a validated assessment device.
Results: Fifteen residents (postgraduate years [PGY] 0–3) participated in the course. Of the participants, 80% rated the Cook URS model as realistic (mean = 4.2/5) and 5 endourology experts rated it as useful as a training device (mean = 4.9/5), providing both face and content validity. The mean overall performance scores, task completion times, and passing ratings correlated with trainee clinical fURS experience – demonstrating construct validity for the Cook URS model. The mean post-course task completion times (15.76 vs. 9.37 minutes, p = 0.001) and overall performance scores (19.20 vs. 25.25, p = 0.007) were significantly better than at baseline. Post-course performance was better in all domains assessed by the validated assessment device.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a SBT curriculum for fURS can lead to improved short-term technical skills among junior level urology residents. The Cook URS model demonstrated good face, content and construct validity.
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