Essential Surgical Skills and Principles for Aspiring Surgeons (ESSPAS)

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About the course

This one-day course is aimed at providing the attendee with an overview of the essential principles, core concepts and fundamental skills relevant for foundation years and early surgical training. The course predominantly comprises of hands-on training in surgical skills using animal tissue interspersed with structured and focused teaching on the principles of management of trauma and operative surgery. With a high tutor-to-delegate ratio, this course is designed to equip the attendee with the essential surgical skills that will be expected of a clinical year medical student or a junior surgical trainee in the operating theatre. There will also be discussions on the management of patients with trauma and those presenting with surgical emergencies.

A total of 7 CPD points are awarded for attendance in this course

Topics Covered

  • Aseptic precautions
  • Surgical gowning
  • Closed method of gloving
  • Suture materials and needles
  • Safe use of local anaesthesia
  • Handling surgical instruments
  • Safely disposing sharps
  • Secure knot tying (Reef knot, Surgeon’s knot, Tying at Depth)
  • Basic and advanced suturing techniques (simple interrupted, simple continuous, subcuticular, vertical mattress and horizontal mattress)
  • Excision of a cutaneous lesion
  • Excision of a subcutaneous cyst
  • Drainage of an abscess
  • Debridement of a contaminated wound
  • Wound healing and principles of reconstructive surgery
  • Role of antibiotics in trauma and surgery
  • Principles of surgical diathermy
  • Fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery
  • Discussion of cases in trauma and general surgery

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, the attendee should:

  • have understood the main principles of effective surgical scrubbing.
  • have appreciated the importance of aseptic precautions in surgery.
  • be able to gown in a correct manner.
  • be able to carry out the closed method of gloving.
  • have gained an appreciation of the different suture materials and surgical needles.
  • be able to institute local anaesthesia in a safe and efficient manner.
  • be able to handle surgical instruments correctly and dispose the sharps safely.
  • be able to tie a secure reef and surgeon’s knot, and tie a knot at depth.
  • be able to execute basic and advanced suturing techniques.
  • be able to excise a lesion and close the wound.
  • be able to excise a subcutaneous cyst and close the wound.
  • have understood the principles behind draining an abscess and planning appropriate wound management.
  • have understood the principles behind debriding a traumatic contaminated wound in an effective manner.
  • have understood the essential concepts in wound healing and the principles of reconstructive surgery.
  • have understood the principles of surgical diathermy and using it in a safe and efficient manner.
  • have understood and appreciated the ergonomics and the skills required in laparoscopic surgery.
  • be able to structure a safe initial management plan for patients presenting with trauma and emergency surgical conditions.

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