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A survey of education and confidence level among graduating anesthesia residents with regard to selected peripheral nerve blocks


Abstract Background As peripheral nerve blockade has increased significantly over the past decade, resident education and exposure to peripheral nerve blocks has also increased. This survey assessed the levels of exposure and confidence that graduating residents have with performing selected peripheral nerve blocks. Methods All program directors of ACGME-accredited anesthesiology programs in the USA were asked to distribute an online survey to their graduating residents. Information was gathered on the number and types of nerve blocks performed, technique(s) utilized, perceived comfort level in performing nerve blocks, perceived quality of regional anesthesia teaching during residency, and suggested areas for improvement. Results One hundred and seven residents completed the survey. The majority completed more than 60 nerve blocks. Femoral and interscalene blocks were performed most frequently, with 59% and 41% of residents performing more than 20 of each procedure, respectively. The least-performed block was the lumber plexus block, with just 9% performing 20 or more blocks. Most residents reported feeling “very” to “somewhat” comfortable performing the surveyed blocks, with the exception of the lumber plexus block, where 64% were “not comfortable.” Overall, 78% of residents were “mostly” to “very satisfied” with the quality of education received during residency. Conclusions Most of the respondents fulfilled the ACGME requirement and expressed satisfaction with the peripheral nerve block education received during residency. However, the ACGME requirement for 40 nerve blocks may not be adequate for some residents to feel comfortable in performing a full range of blocks upon graduation. Many residents felt that curriculums incorporating simulator training and didactic lectures would be the most helpful method of improving the quality of their education pertaining to peripheral nerve blocks.

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