Objectives: To assess, teach, and improve core competencies and skills sets associated with ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) of pediatric anesthesia trainees.
Aim: To effectively assess and improve UGRA-associated cognitive and technical skills and proficiency of pediatric anesthesia trainees using simulators and real-time feedback.
Background: Ultrasound usage has been increasingly adopted by anesthesiologists to perform regional anesthesia. Pediatric UGRA performance significantly lags behind adult UGRA practice. Lack of effective UGRA training is the major reason for this unfortunate lag. Integration of ultrasound imaging, target location, and needling skills are crucial in safely performing UGRA. However, there are no standards to ensure proficiency in practice, nor in training.
Methods: We implemented an UGRA instructional program for all trainees, in two parts. First, we used a unique training model for initial assessment and training of technical skills. Second, we used an instructional program that encompasses UGRA and equipment-associated cognitive skills. After baseline assessment at 0 months, we retested these trainees at 6 and 12 months to identify progression of proficiency over time.
Results: Cognitive and technical UGRA skills of trainees improved significantly over the course of time. UGRA performance average accuracy improved to 79% at 12 months from the baseline accuracy of 57%. Cognitive UGRA-related skills of trainees improved from baseline results of 52.5–79.2% at 12 months.
Conclusions: Implementing a multifaceted assessment and real-time feedback-based training has significantly improved UGRA-related cognitive and technical skills and proficiency of pediatric anesthesia trainees.