Urology technical and non-technical skills development: the emerging role of simulation

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ObjectiveTo review the emerging role of technical and non-technical simulation in urological education and training.MethodA review was conducted to examine the current role of simulation in urology training. A PUBMED search of the terms ‘urology training’, ‘urology simulation’ and ‘urology education’ revealed 11 504 titles. Three hundred and fifty-seven abstracts were identified as English language, peer reviewed papers pertaining to the role of simulation in urology and related topics. Key papers were used to explore themes. Some cross-referenced papers were also included.ResultsThere is an ongoing need to ensure that training time is efficiently utilised while ensuring that optimal technical and non-technical skills are achieved. Changing working conditions and the need to minimise patient harm by inadvertent errors must be taken into account. Simulation models for specific technical aspects have been the mainstay of graduated step-wise low and high fidelity training. Whole scenario environments as well as non-technical aspects can be slowly incorporated into the curriculum. Doing so should also help define what have been challenging competencies to teach and evaluate. Dedicated time, resources and trainer up-skilling are important. Concurrent studies are needed to help evaluate the effectiveness of introducing step-wise simulation for technical and non-technical competencies.ConclusionSimulation based learning remains the best avenue of progressing surgical education. Technical and non-technical simulation could be used in the selection process. There are good economic, logistic and safety reasons to pursue the process of ongoing development of simulation co-curricula. While the role of simulation is assured, its progress will depend on a structured program that takes advantage of what can be delivered via this medium. Overall, simulation can be developed further for urological training programs to encompass technical and non-technical skill development at all stages, including recertification.

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