25.06.2022 | Reports of Original Investigations
Enhancing knowledge, skills, and comfort in providing anesthesia assistance during obstetric general anesthesia for operating room nurses: a prospective observational study
MB BCh, BAO, MCAI, MSc Robert ffrench-O’Carroll, MD, FRCPC Zahid Sunderani, MD, FRCPC Roanne Preston, PhD Ulrike Mayer, PhD Arianne Albert, MD FRCPC, MMSc Anthony Chau
Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d'anesthésie
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Due to a nationwide shortage of anesthesia assistants, operating room nurses are often recruited to assist with the induction of obstetric general anesthesia (GA). We developed and administered a training program and hypothesized there would be significant improvements in knowledge and skills in anesthesia assistance during obstetric GA by operating room nurses following training with adequate retention at six months.
Following informed consent, all operating room nurses at our institution were invited to participate in the study. Baseline knowledge of participants was assessed using a 14-item multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ), and skills were assessed using a 12-item checklist scored by direct observation during simulated induction of GA. Next, a 20-min didactic lecture followed by a ten-minute hands-on skills station were delivered. Knowledge and skills were immediately reassessed after training, and again at six weeks and six months. The primary outcomes of this study were adequate knowledge and skills retention at six months, defined as achieving ≥ 80% in MCQ and ≥ 80% in skills checklist scores and analyzed using longitudinal mixed-effects linear regression.
A total of 34 nurses completed the study at six months. The mean MCQ score at baseline was 8.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.5 to 9.4) out of 14. The mean skills checklist score was 5.5 (95% CI, 4.9 to 6.1) out of 12. The mean comfort scores for assisting elective and emergency Cesarean deliveries were 3.6 (95% CI, 3.2 to 3.9) and 3.1 (95% CI, 2.7 to 3.5) out of 5, respectively. There was a significant difference in the mean MCQ and skills checklist scores across the different study periods (overall P value < 0.001). Post hoc pairwise tests suggested that, compared with baseline, there were significantly higher mean MCQ scores at all time points after the training program at six weeks (11.9; 95% CI, 11.4 to 12.4; P < 0.001) and at six months (12.0; 95% CI, 11.5 to 12.4; P < 0.001).
The knowledge and skills of operating room nurses in providing anesthesia assistance during obstetric GA at our institution were low at baseline. Following a single 30-min in-house, anesthesiologist-led, structured training program, scores in both dimensions significantly improved. Although knowledge improvements were adequately retained for up to six months, skills improvements decayed rapidly, suggesting that sessions should be repeated at six-week intervals, at least initially.