The Use of Simulation in Training to Improve Motor Learning Skill Acquisition for Complex Tasks in the Medical Industry
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
For years, training across various industries has involved on the job or classroom-based training. In the medical industry they primarily adopt the Halstedian method of whole-task motor learning training. This has been found in the literature to lead to slower learning training times resulting in higher learning costs, resources and more opportunity for human error. It assumes the premise that instruction improves performance, which has also been found to be less effective to reduce human error in highly complex settings compared with other training modes. This is one of several studies which examines the benefits of the use of simulation to enhance trialing various modes of training, enhance skill acquisition and user acceptance of participants. This experiment quantifiably explores how the use of a non-fidelity simulator for colonoscopy training improved the learning curve of participants. Lower cost simulators have been found to reduce costs but allow for training modification to enhance the quality of training. In addition, often the low fidelity models have been found to have equal learning transference as higher fidelity models. Of all surgeries, colonoscopies has a four year learning curve. It is an ergonomically a difficult technical skill to master ie simultaneously performing the diagnostic examination and surgery removal of matter. By conducting a task analysis, separating the task of use of equipment and diagnostic tasks, it was found that they require vastly different skills. The study examined if skill acquisition can be achieved using a low fidelity simulator to enhance the learning curve of the whole set of tasks. Using university medical students across various cases using the simulator demonstrated that this was the case. In addition, self-reporting of students found that the use of the simulator enhance confidence in performing the task on a patient. Further research should explore this further to examine the impact on surgical performance and human error.