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A dry lab for medical engineers?

Author(s): Rulli Francesco | Maura Angelo | Galatà Gabriele | Olivi Giulia | Grande Michele | Farinon Attilio

Journal: Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research
ISSN 1750-1164

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Introduction We describe a teaching and training method with objective evaluation to improve medical engineering students' knowledge and analysis skills about Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) instrumentation and techniques through hands-on experience. Training has been scheduled during a three-month course. Methods Twenty medical engineering students were trained to perform three times on a pelvic trainer a sequence of standardized drills connected with the selected MIS techniques, in order to improve their dexterity. The time required to perform each dexterity drill was recorded in seconds. Then, the participants were divided into groups and asked to write an essay about an instrument they chose, analyzing and criticizing the instrument itself. Results All the trainees showed steady improvement in skill acquisition on the laparoscopic simulator and discussed their essays, making proposals in order to improve the instrument they tested. Conclusion Significant improvement in performance with increasing skillness has been measured; during the course and during their discussion the participants showed deep knowledge of the instrument, ability to analyze and criticize it and ability to make improvement proposals. Dry lab experience for medical engineering students is useful for teaching and improving analysis and management of laparoscopic devices, allowing identification of problems and developing better devices.
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