Since 1999, Marc Bosiers from the AZ Sint-Blasius in Dendermonde, Belgium together with Patrick Peeters from the Imelda Hospital in Bonheiden, Belgium have been organising workshops on state-of-the-art endovascular techniques. The combination of live cases and theoretical lectures has made endovascular companies showing great interest in this teaching format over the past years. All peripheral endovascular procedures are covered: carotids, renals, AAA repair, iliac cases, SFA treatment, below-the-knee procedures. The target audience consists of cardiologists, interventional radiologists, neuro-radiologists, vascular surgeons and sales representatives. The training sessions are an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the newest of techniques and products available on the endovascular market.
The focus lies on three main subjects: teaching; the critical discussion between evidence based medicine and day-to-day practice; and future technologies.
Each time, participants are stimulated to actively take part and ask questions, raise objections or interfere at all times. As this high degree of interactivity is valued, the introduction of a SimSuite medical simulation system (Medical Simulation Corporation) in Bosiers’ vascular centre in Dendermonde means a great step forward in the future of training opportunities.
On August 24th-25th, the first two-day workshop was organized at our training facility in the AZ Sint-Blasius, Dendermonde, alternating live cases in the operating theatre with hands-on simulator experience for the visiting physicians. In order to mimic real in-hospital situation, the two days were scheduled according to everyday practice. Programmed for this workshop were mainly carotid artery stenting interventions. Between each procedure, the guest doctors were able to put their own endovascular skills to the test on the SimSuite simulator.
The SimSuite environment offers simulation cases designed for training diagnostic as well as interventional procedures. Each case programmed by Medical Simulation Corporation in the SimSuite computer, is based on a real intervention, together with the possible troubleshooting routines and all clinical decision-making information. This makes the simulator patient very lifelike in reaction to material handling, medication administration (or lack of it), or any related unforeseen events.
At the time of the workshop, a total of 21 carotid, iliac and renal simulations with generic materials were at the physicians’ disposal. As the SimSuite is updated on a regular basis, this number will even increase in future workshops, along with the materials available on the system. The workshop participants can choose any procedure, depending on their own needs and preference. For instance, certain cases are designed with focus on consecutive steps in the carotid procedure, or on diagnostic techniques, whilst others have a built-in complication event as their learning point.
Before starting with a simulated case, the patient’s medical background is communicated. Pre-op imaging is usually available, but, as in real-life situations, this is not always the case. Additionally, theoretical knowledge can be tested by means of a small questionnaire related to the specific case. On this basis, the endovascular intervention can then be started by one of the workshop participants. As our workshops are intended to obtain maximum learning experience, all guests are encouraged to actively comment and support during the performance of the case, which makes the simulation cases not only interesting for the physician who is performing the procedure, but for all participants.
In an interview, Bosiers stated, “I am convinced the combination of witnessing cases on a normal operational day in our operation theatre together with hands-on training on a simulator, makes this new workshop formula highly educational and fruitful for future workshop guests.”