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Neonatal clinical skills training: are skills labs and animal models the answer?
  1. S Broster1,
  2. S Rubin2,
  3. K Farrer1,
  4. P Fox2,
  5. M Starace1
  1. 1Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn, UK


Background Acquisition of clinical skills for current trainees is difficult due to the reduction hours, increased number of trainees and decreased opportunity for procedures. At appraisal trainees repeatedly highlight lack of opportunity for chest drain insertion and intubation. Hence confidence is low. Consequently the Eastern Perinatal Network and Deanery examined innovative and affordable ways to train the doctors of the future.

Aims To ensure all paediatric trainees in the East of England received free practical training in intubation and insertion of chest drains.

Methods Network funds enabled a ‘hands on’ regional study day to be delivered by 3 local consultants and nurse educators on behalf of the Eastern Perinatal Network and Deanery. The first course in November 2010 was free for the 17 delegates. In small groups they were taught chest drain insertion (both conventional and Seldinger techniques) using a variety of animal models to simulate neonatal patients and ETT insertion using resuscitation and simulator mannekins.

Results The first course was well received with very positive feedback. Comments included ‘especially useful having animal carcasses to practice on’, ‘very useful course for SHOs and registrars … , it should be offered to all paediatric trainees; we as a whole are concerned about skill development’.

Conclusions With appropriate regional support it is possible to develop a free programme to train local paediatricians in essential neonatal skills reducing risk and improving neonatal patient care. Should this become now become mandatory?

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