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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 107-112

How to train your surgical assistant? Assessment of "in-service training" program for orthopedic surgical assistants in a rural mission hospital

Department of Orthopedics, Christian Hospital, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deeptiman James
Department of Orthopedics, Christian Hospital, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-4651.194475

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Context: While lack of physicians and surgeons in rural India has received wide publicity, minimal attention has been spared for lack of ancillary personnel, such as surgical assistants. Personnel with no formal training often play the role of surgical assistant. This study evaluates the efficacy of "In-service training" of orthopedic surgical assistants in a rural mission hospital. Methodology: A retrospective, one group pre- and post-test experimental study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the "In-service training" program for surgical assistants who participated in orthopedic procedures conducted over a 5-year period (2011-2016), at a rural mission hospital. Data were collected from the hospital's Orthopedic Department database from July 2011 to March 2016. All orthopedic surgical assistants included in the study were classified according to their highest educational qualification and duration of "In-service training" program. Initial and final level of competence of each orthopedic surgical assistant after "In-service training" was evaluated. Paired t-test was used for statistical assessment. Results: A total of 1156 orthopedic procedures were carried out from 2011 to 2016. Twenty-eight personnel including nine General Nursing and Midwifery nurses, two Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy doctors, one dentist, one physiotherapist, one MBBS doctor, 12 medical student volunteers and two college graduates participated in "In-service training" program as orthopedic surgical assistants in the rural mission hospital. The participants had no prior training in operation theater technique or orthopedic procedure. Mean initial competence score was 1.00357 (standard deviation [SD] = 0.1889) and mean final competence score was 3.3928 (SD = 0.9165). This difference was statistically significant with P < 0.00001. Conclusions: "In-service training" program at the rural mission hospital increased the competence level of orthopedic surgical assistants. This is a novel method to overcome the human resource deficit in rural health-care sector.

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