International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
182 Surgical Simulator Design, What are Educators and Trainees Requirements?
DOI 10.54531/QSDB8946, Volume: 1, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A76-A76
Article Type: Research, Article History





Simulation is an important adjunct to aid in the acquisition of surgical skills of surgical trainees. The simulators used to enable trainees to learn technical skills, practice skills and to be assessed in competency exams, need to be of the highest standard and to be of consistent design. Input into the design and makeup of task trainers used to teach surgical skills come from a multitude of sources. Enquiry into the perspectives of simulation has been described in the past but there is little description, in the literature, of the expectations of the desired features of the simulator itself.


This study investigates the perceived requirements of simulation and simulators used to acquire skills in the surgical field, particularly in limb exploratory procedures in trauma.

Simulation activity outline:

This study concentrated on the implementation and desired features of simulators for the acquisition of surgical technical skills.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted until data saturation was achieved. An international group of 11 surgical educators and 11 surgical trainees, who had experience with surgical simulation, were interviewed via one-to-one video calls. The interviews focussed on the perceptions of simulation, the integration of simulators within a curriculum and the features of a simulator itself. This study concentrated on synthetic and virtual reality simulators for open surgical skills, as these types of simulators are open to design and redesign or adaptation. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and underwent thematic analysis. Ethical approval was obtained for this study.


Analysis of the perspectives of surgical educators and surgical trainees on simulated training in open surgery yielded three main themes: (1) attitudes to simulation, (2) implementing simulation, (3) features of an open skills simulator. The majority felt simulation was relevant, intuitive and a good way for procedure warmup and the supplementation of surgical logbooks. They felt that simulation could be improved with increased accessibility and a variety of simulator options tailored to the learner. Suggested simulator features included greater fidelity, haptic feedback and more complex inbuilt scenarios. On a practical level, there was a desire for cost-effectiveness, easy setup and storage. The responses of the educators and the trainees were similar and reflected similar concerns and suggestions for improvement.

Implications for practice:

There is a clear positive appetite for the incorporation of simulation into general surgical and limb trauma training. The findings of this will inform the optimal requirements for high-quality implementation of simulation into a surgical trauma curriculum. The findings will inform the optimal features desired in a simulator or task trainer design. The aim is to inspire a more considered design approach to optimize surgical skills training and ultimately lead to increased patient safety. Surgical Simulator Design, What are Educators and Trainees Requirements?&author=Leonie Heskin,Ciaran Simms,Oscar Traynor,Rose Galvin,&keyword=&subject=Research,