Background and Aims COVID-19 has affected the delivery of postgraduate medical education. Social-distancing measures, lost training time and limited resources have all presented unique challenges. Learning opportunities in Regional Anaesthesia (RA) have reduced since the start of the pandemic, yet less aerosol-generation and improved patient flow when compared to general anaesthesia, has increased RA demand.1,2 We aimed to combat these challenges by adopting a novel approach to RA fellowship teaching to maintain high-quality training and service delivery.
Methods Fellows were given access to a repository of learning resources through Dropbox™ including research papers and block performance videos. Tutorials were conducted over Microsoft Teams (Figure 1), utilising sono-anatomy videos and immersive anatomy software (3D Organon™) using virtual reality (VR) headsets (Oculus™). Butterfly IQ™ handheld ultrasound devices were made available for practice at home. A Google Docs ™ survey was then distributed to all fellows to rate their learning experience.
Results All fellows (n=6) agreed/strongly agreed that the Dropbox™ folder improved knowledge of RA and aided preparation for online tutorials. All fellows strongly agreed online tutorials were useful. 5 fellows agreed/strongly agreed that VR software was useful for learning, with 3 agreeing/strongly agreeing that the Butterfly IQ™ benefitted their learning.
Conclusions A growing demand for RA, coupled with a greater emphasis on robust training and service delivery, means the provision of high-quality RA fellowships is more important than ever.3,4 Despite limitations on medical education during the pandemic our centre has demonstrated it is still possible to maximise RA learning opportunities and keep fellows engaged.
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