Covid-19 – challenges for training

 

The world’s population and its healthcare workforce are facing a huge challenge as we work to control and mitigate for the covid-19 pandemic. Our normal ways of work and life are being massively disrupted.

Established patterns of healthcare work are changing. In readiness for a massive expansion of critical care facilities and to free up inpatient beds, swathes of elective operating has been postponed. Clinic appointments are taking place by phone or video link or postponed altogether. Here in the NHS, surgical and medical training programs (including examinations) have been paused. Medical school clinical rotations have stopped. 

The healthcare workforce is well-known for its readiness to pull together – and no doubt it will do so again in the face of this challenge. These will be tough times. Our focus will, of course, be on our patients and, for some, adapting to new roles in the hospital.

For many surgical trainees, especially junior trainees, opportunities to operate and maintain surgical skills will be reduced or eliminated. As fellow NHS surgeons, we want to do what we can to help. eoSurgical provides an online distance training platform, allowing trainees to maintain and progress skills even in the context of social distancing or self-isolation.

As such, we’re going to make our online curriculum and tracking software free to all trainees. Whilst we cannot provide every trainee with a simulator (our manufacturer is now busy making components for ventilators), there are plenty of box-trainers in circulation. It need not be our model and you can even make your own with a shoebox and a webcam (just how our company began!). You can get access for free by signing up for the platform here: https://app.surgtrac.com/#/signup

After you sign up, you can download SurgTrac for macOS and Windows from your dashboard or you can search "SurgTrac" on the app stores to get the app on your phone or tablet. 

Follow the current public health guidance, work together, and stay positive.

Mark Hughes

Skull base fellow, Leeds General Infirmary

Director, eoSurgical

Email: mark.hughes@eosurgical.com