Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI launches first human factors training course for surgical trainees worldwide

21 July 2011
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has launched the first MSc./ Postgraduate Diploma in Human Factors and Patient Safety course to accompany the surgical training programme at RCSI across Basic Surgical Training (BST) and Higher Surgical Training (HST). RCSI is the only surgical training college in the world to offer this comprehensive human factors training integrated into the surgical curriculum.

 

The programme aims to facilitate surgical trainees to explore areas of professional development in an effort to develop their interpersonal skills in order to enhance the performance of the surgeon and contribute to the reduction of error and risk during surgical procedures.

It is estimated that 75% of important events during a surgical procedure relate to human factors such as decision making, communication, team work and leadership and only 25% of events are related to manual or technical skills (1). Other human factors which are important in surgical practice include self awareness, conflict resolution and error management.

Professor Oscar Traynor, Consultant Surgeon and Director of the National Surgical Training Centre, RCSI said "Whilst some individuals are born with personal skills such as decision making, communication and team work, for many others, these skills can be developed and improved by formal education and training. This course was developed in order to enhance the performance of surgeons and contribute to the reduction of error and risk so as to improve patient safety."

The Postgraduate Diploma consists of one taught module each BST year for three years with one practical work experience module during BST. The MSc. Degree has two additional modules - one taught and one research with a submission of a 15,000 word dissertation to be completed over one year during HST.

The programme is aimed at surgeons in training interested in exploring the challenges and opportunities specific to the surgical profession in the wider context of healthcare and the medical community.

The first programme will commence in September 2011. It will be delivered by Professor Oscar Traynor, Director of the National Surgical Training Centre, Dr Eva Doherty, Director of Human Factors and Patient Safety and Dara O'Keeffe, Special Lecturer in Surgical Education.