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Clinical Skills

Managed Educational Network

Grant Award to CS MEN Clinical Lead

Award of Grant from Royal College of Anaesthetists and British Journal of Anaesthesia £69,970

Jean Ker (CS MEN, Clinical Lead) is one of the collaborators on this simulation based training project with the University of Dundee.

Research question?

Does cadaver simulation training offer best clinical performance behaviour during ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia?


The majority of anaesthetists still perform their first regional nerve blocks on patients and not on a simulator. As a result, performance is highly variable and exposes patients to repeated attempts causing both pain and harm. Only a limited number of anaesthetists in the UK have sufficient expertise to provide reliable, high quality nerve block.


The hypothesis for this study is that additional simulation based training using an approach of mastery learning with expert feedback will translate to improved clinical regional anaesthesia performance compared to standard training alone (lectures, volunteer scanning and needle alignment practice on a phantom).


We plan to validate the step and error metrics we have developed using 16 UK experts, then conduct two trials investigating the translation of simulator performance to patients.

The first part of the study will determine whether the combination of cadaver training and standard training translates to better clinical interscalene block performance.

The second part of the study will determine whether mastery learning on the soft embalmed cadaver translates to better clinical interscalene block performance.

Outcome measures

Our primary outcome will be step and error performance metrics. Secondary outcomes will be eye tracking metrics (measure of cognitive intention and visual perception), quality of anaesthesia, trainee self-efficacy, patient experience and health economics.