The training environment of junior anaesthetic registrars learning epidural labour analgesia in Australian teaching hospitals

Leonie Watterson, Sarah Hyde, S Bajenov, S.E. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Junior anaesthetic registrars perform epidural labour analgesia in many Australian hospitals, however data evaluatingtraining and outcomes are scarce. We aimed to describe and evaluate training practices and environments providedfor registrars who learn epidural labour analgesia in their first year of training. Twenty-nine registrars audited their epidurals, participated in semi-structured interviews and completed surveys for six months. The median (interquartilerange) number of epidurals performed by each registrar was 17 (15-25). Fifty percent performed less than 20.Among 216 audited cases, complications were reported in 19% (dural puncture in 1.4%) and technical difficulties in 16%. Direct supervision was provided for a median (range) of 2.5 (6) epidurals per registrar and for a significantly higher proportion of epidurals performed in tertiary hospitals compared with district metropolitan and rural hospitals(35%, 6% and 22% respectively; P=0.001). Registrars felt senior staff had supportive attitudes, however the onus for initiating supervision appeared to be with the registrars and responses to survey items addressing role clarity and access to supervision showed wide variation. Only 33% of registrars agreed that they received adequate training before their first epidural and 67% reported workplace stress. None received formal assessments designed to ensure adequate supervision and competency. These results suggest that current training practices for these trainees are inadequate and could be improved by audit and structured workplace learning and assessment activities. We have demonstrated the potential value of measuring a range of training outcomes and environmental factors and have provided baseline data for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


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