Essential Surgical Skills for Surgeons-in-Training (ESSSiT) Course

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About the course


This two-day course is aimed at providing the surgical traineewith an overview of the essential principles, core concepts and fundamental skills relevant for foundation and core surgical training. The course comprises of hands-on training in surgical skills using animal tissue, interspersed with structured and focused teaching on the principles behind undertaking common operative procedures. In addition to teaching the skills required to practicesafe operative surgery, the course also emphasises the value of being an effective assisting surgeon.

With a high tutor-to-delegate ratio, this course is designed to equip the surgical trainee with the essential surgical skills that will be expected of a foundation year or coresurgical trainee in the operating theatre. The course also includes pertinent discussions on the management of patients with trauma and those presenting with surgical emergencies.

A total of 14 CPD points are awarded for attendance in this course

A formal assessment will be carried out for award of Certification of Completion of the Course.

Topics Covered

  • Aseptic Precautions in the Operating Theatre.
  • Scrubbing and Handwashing Technique.
  • Closed Method of Gowning and Gloving.
  • Surgical Knot-Tying (Reef; Surgeon's; Tying at Depth;Slip Knot; Instrument Tie).
  • Basics of Suture Materials and Needles.
  • Safe Infiltration of Local Anaesthesia.
  • Correct Handling of Common Surgical Instruments and Disposing of Sharps.
  • Suturing Techniques I: Interrupted, Vertical and Horizontal Mattress.
  • Suturing Techniques II: Subcuticular, Continuous and Aberdeen Knot.
  • Figure of '8' Haemostatic Stitch.
  • Excision of a Simulated Cutaneous Lesion and Closure.
  • Removal of a Simulated Epidermoid Cyst. 
  • Draining an Abscess.
  • Debriding a Contaminated Wound.
  • Placement of and Securing a Surgical Drain.
  • Methods of Wound Closure and Reconstructive Ladder.
  • Assessing a Hand Injury.
  • Repairing a Flexor Tendon.
  • Principles of Managing Patients with Trauma.
  • Principles of Managing Patients with Shock.
  • Laparotomy and Closure.
  • Mesentery: Ligation in Continuity.
  • Mesentery: Pedicle Ligation.
  • Mesentery: Transfixing a Pedicle.
  • Lymph Node Biopsy.
  • Types of Colectomies.
  • End-to-End Bowel Anastomosis.
  • Principles of Vascular Surgery (Bypass and Stents).
  • Arteriotomy and Vein Patch.
  • Basic Principles of Surgical Diathermy.
  • Laparoscopic Surgery (stacking).   
  • Laparoscopic Surgery (cutting).
  • Laparoscopic Surgery (threading).

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, asurgical trainee 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 of the sharps safely.
  • be able to tie a secure reef and surgeon’s knot,tie a knot at depth, and perform an instrument tie.
  • 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.
  • be able to safely secure a surgical drain.
  • have understood the essential concepts in wound healing and the principles of reconstructive surgery.
  • have understood the principles of managing patients with trauma.
  • have understood the principles of managing patients with shock.
  • be able to perform a laparotomy and close the abdomen.
  • be able to appreciate the indications and principles behind colectomies.
  • be able to ligate a pedicle in a mesentery and transfix a pedicle.
  • be able to perform an end-to-end anastomosis of the bowel.
  • have understood the theory behind vascular bypass procedures and the insertion of vascular stents.
  • be able to perform an arteriotomy.
  • be able to close an arteriotomy incision with a vein patch.
  • 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 inlaparoscopic surgery.

Suitable For

  • Foundation Year Doctors
  • Core Surgical Trainees
  • Junior Surgeons
  • Specialist Surgical Trainees (up to ST4 level)
  • Junior Surgical Registrars
  • Surgical Staff Grades

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