This week in Inverness saw the successful running of the second Highland Surgical Boot Camp. The intensive one-week training course - which is for budding surgeons - also promotes the benefits of living and working in the Highlands.
The Programme which is run by NHS Highland, in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and NHS Education for Scotland is believed to be unique. A key principle is to teach trainees through simulation to accelerate the development of their key skills.
Experienced local actors play the roles of post-operative surgical patients, staff nurses and junior doctors. The training is led and delivered by local surgeons, Clinical Skills Centre Staff, and invited faculty.
The course was the idea of Professor Angus Watson and Mr Kenneth Walker, both colorectal surgeons, based in Raigmore Hospital.
Topics covered during the week include surgical operative skills, patient safety practices and communications skills.
But there is more to being a good surgeon than just carrying out the actual operation with one the key skills being how to lead a ward round explained Professor Angus Watson.
He said: “In a week when the Royal College of Physicians and Nursing have just made a joint statement calling for ward rounds to be reinstated, here in Highland we not only run twice daily ward rounds, but they also form a key element in our training course.”
Mr Walker, who is also Associate Postgraduate Dean, said: “In the Centre for Health Sciences the team have recreated a simulated ward: a true to life hospital environment – with patient beds, monitors, notes and charts. Amongst other surgical tasks,the candidates on the course are given the opportunity to lead the ward round – reviewing the simulated patients with the help of the nurse and junior doctor team, and then receive feedback on their performance.
Commenting on the course one of the students said “I didn’t realise that I was in a simulation – it felt so real. The skills I have learnt from the simulated ward round will definitely help me when I return to working at my usual hospital.”
Notes to editors