Creating the perfect intern anaesthesia rotation: a survey using feedback from past interns
Background: Community service doctors (CSDs) are often expected to administer anaesthesia after minimal training and with very little support, especially in rural hospitals. This leads to unnecessary stress on these junior doctors and may lead to poor anaesthesia outcomes.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of CSDs administering anaesthesia. This feedback will be used to improve the current intern training programme for anaesthesia and to structure the rotation according to their needs.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to Pietermaritzburg (PMB) interns who completed their anaesthesia intern rotation between 2008 and 2010. Two data sets were collected: quantitative data (this will be reported on in another paper) and qualitative data. The qualitative data included five open-ended questions about the intern rotation in anaesthesia.
Results: Between 2008 and 2010, 298 interns completed an anaesthetic rotation. The survey was sent to 259 doctors of whom 189 responded (73%). The first three questions were about the structure of the intern rotation in anaesthesia. The responses were analysed together. The following feedback was common: more autonomy, longer duration of the anaesthesia rotation and more practical exposure during the rotation. Questions 4 and 5 were about the impact of internship and community service on future career choice. Community service had a greater impact on career choice than internship.
Conclusion: Intern training in anaesthesia is essential to create confident CSDs. Feedback from previous interns should be used to improve intern training programmes.
Keywords: anaesthesia education, intern training, obstetric anaesthesia training, rural health care
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