Laparoscopic assistance by operating room nurses: Results of a virtual-reality study.

Nurse education today

PubMedID: 28131934

Paschold M, Huber T, Maedge S, Zeissig SR, Lang H, Kneist W. Laparoscopic assistance by operating room nurses: Results of a virtual-reality study. Nurse Educ Today. 2017;5168-72.
Laparoscopic assistance is often entrusted to a less experienced resident, medical student, or operating room nurse. Data regarding laparoscopic training for operating room nurses are not available.

The aim of the study was to analyse the initial performance level and learning curves of operating room nurses in basic laparoscopic surgery compared with medical students and surgical residents to determine their ability to assist with this type of procedure.

The study was designed to compare the initial virtual reality performance level and learning curves of user groups to analyse competence in laparoscopic assistance.

The study subjects were operating room nurses, medical students, and first year residents.

Participants performed three validated tasks (camera navigation, peg transfer, fine dissection) on a virtual reality laparoscopic simulator three times in 3 consecutive days. Laparoscopic experts were enrolled as a control group. Participants filled out questionnaires before and after the course.

Nurses and students were comparable in their initial performance (p>0.05). Residents performed better in camera navigation than students and nurses and reached the expert level for this task. Residents, students, and nurses had comparable bimanual skills throughout the study; while, experts performed significantly better in bimanual manoeuvres at all times (p<0.05).

The included user groups had comparable skills for bimanual tasks. Residents with limited experience reached the expert level in camera navigation. With training, nurses, students, and first year residents are equally capable of assisting in basic laparoscopic procedures.